S-244, Field Observer

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This course provides students with the skills necessary to perform as a Field Observer (FOBS) and/or a Fire Effects Monitor (FEMO). Topics include roles and responsibilities of the FOBS and FEMO; how to make observations and document those observations; how to produce hand drawn and GPS field maps; and how to navigate using a compass and GPS. The navigation unit has 4½ hours of field exercises and the final field exercise is 8 hours. For pre-course work, students need to read and complete exercises in Basic Land Navigation, PMS 475.


  • Demonstrate skills and knowledge to gather and report information for incident planning.

Target Group

Personnel desiring to be qualified as Field Observer (FOBS) and/or Fire Effects Monitor (FEMO).


S-244 is available as classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course ComponentCourse Time
Pre-course work8
Pre-selection assessmentN/A
Online trainingN/A
Instructor-led training20
Total Hours28

Session Offerings

Nationally advertised course sessions can be found by searching for S-244 on the National Wildland Fire Training website. Contact your local Training Officer for more information about local course sessions.

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

  • Successful completion of S-290, Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior.
  • Successful completion of pre-course work.
  • Basic understanding of how to use a GPS receiver.
  • FOBS: Qualified as any single resource boss.


  • FEMO: Qualified as a Firefighter Type 2 (FFT2).

Course Level


Associated Position Task Books

Fire Effects Monitor, Field Observer (PMS 311-30)


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