National Wildfire Coordinating Group

S-290, Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior, 2007

Decorative banner: Five photos showing various wildland fire scenes. Extreme fire behavior in a stand of pine trees, a division supervisor looking east, two firefighters stand in front of truck while forest fire fills the scene behind them, two firefighters observe a fire working its way through the forest, and a wildland firefighter sits using a handheld radio to provide information.

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S-290 is available via two delivery methods (online and ILT), either of which is sufficient for student completion. This is a classroom-based skills course designed to prepare the prospective fireline supervisor to undertake safe and effective fire management operations. It is the second course in a series that collectively serves to develop fire behavior prediction knowledge and skills. Fire environment differences are discussed as necessary; instructor should stress local conditions.


  • Identify and describe the characteristics of fuels, weather, and topography that influence wildland fire behavior.
  • Describe the interaction of fuels, weather, and topography on wildland fire behavior, fireline tactics, and safety.
  • Describe the causes of extreme fire behavior conditions (long range spotting, crowning, and fire whirls) that develop due to weather, fuels, and/or topography.
  • Interpret, communicate, apply, and document wildland fire behavior and weather information.

Target Group

Personnel desiring to be qualified as any single resource boss or Fire Effects Monitor (FEMO). 

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

  • Successful completion of S-190, Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior.
  • Satisfactory completion of pre-selection assessment and pre-course work.

Session Offerings

Sessions of this course may be available in the NWCG Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP). Enrollment requires an account. Log on as a guest to search for session offerings of this course and to view other public content. To search for a specific course, use the FIND LEARNING menu at the top of the page, then select UPCOMING COURSES. To view Geographic Area training schedules, select the specific GEOGRAPHIC AREA information using the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Contact your local Training Officer for more information about local course sessions.



S-290 is available as either Online training or classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Component Hours:  Instructor-Led Hours:  Self-Directed
Instructor-led training 32 N/A
Pre-course work 3 N/A
Pre-selection assessment 2 N/A
Online Training N/A 15
Recommended Total Hours 37 15

Course Level


Minimum Instructor Qualifications

The lead instructor must be a qualified Strike Team Leader (STCR, STEQ, STEN), Task Force Leader (TFLD), or Prescribed Fire Burn Boss, Type 2 (RXB2). Successful completion of Advanced Fire Behavior Calculations (S-490) is recommended.

Unit instructors must be qualified as any Single Resource Boss.

A Meteorologist is highly recommended to instruct the weather sections of this class.

See NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1, Instructor Standards for more information.

Final Exam

Contact your course coordinator or email for access to the final exam and answer key.

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