S-290, Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior, 2007

S-290 Decorative banner. Group of photos depicting wildland firefighters performing various duties.

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Course Delivery Information

S-290 may be delivered as instructor-led (classroom) or self-directed (online) training.

Expectations of Instructors

  • Prepare thoroughly. Study the course content you are going to teach.
  • Establish a collaborative and constructive classroom environment.
  • Communicate expectations.
  • Encourage student engagement.
  • Respect student diversity in backgrounds, talent, experience, and learning style.
  • Professionally represent your instructor cadre, your home unit, and your agency.

Course Guidance

Course coordinators and instructors should be thoroughly familiar with the NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1.  The NWCG Standards for Course Delivery establishes standards for all aspects of NWCG training course management and delivery. These standards should be used in conjunction with the NWCG Standards for Wildland Fire Position Qualifications, PMS 310-1, and the course-specific guidance stated in the NWCG Training Catalog.

See S-290 minimum instructor qualifications

Recommended Class Size

Recommended class size is 24 students.  Instructors should maintain a 6:1 ratio of students to instructors/coaches to facilitate exercises and discussion and to enable strong mentorship to the students. 

Cadre Meetings

Conduct initial, pre-course, daily, and close-out instructor cadre meetings. These provide opportunities to plan, organize, preview materials, review training and exercises, and identify and address concerns and issues. Consider using an informal After Action Review process. Instructor cadre meetings are critical for instructors who do not have previous experience with the course.  Additional information is located in the NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1.

Course Materials

Each student must be provided the following:

Technical Considerations

All presentations should be downloaded and tested before the start of class to ensure compatibility with software.

PowerPoint presentations are built in an older version of Microsoft Office.  Some features may not work correctly with newer software or systems.  

For help, visit the Microsoft Office website or contact your local IT support personnel.

Course Evaluations

Use the NWCG Course Evaluation Feedback form to collect information critical to future training improvements.

Students and cadre members are asked to contribute course evaluations. Input is welcome on all aspects of the training course, including course content, pre-course work, reference materials, quality of instruction, delivery methods, and testing procedures.

Self-Directed (Online) S-290 Delivery Instructions

This online course (estimate 15 hours) builds upon the basics in S-190, Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior but provides more detailed information about characteristics and interactions of the wildland fire environment (fuels, weather, and topography) that affect wildland fire behavior for safety purposes. The course is designed for personnel desiring to be qualified as any single resource boss or fire effects monitor (FEMO).  Additional information about the course can be found on the Overview page.


  1. Complete the online course.  You will be directed to the COMET MetEd website. You will need an COMET MetEd account, before starting the course, to receive an NWCG certificate of completion for this course; follow directions on the COMET MetEd website to obtain an account.  It is important to read the Overview tab on the COMET MetEd website regarding additional requirements about NWCG course certificate.
  2. Print the NWCG certificate of completion per the COMET MetEd directions. Keep the certificate as proof of successful completion of the course.

2007 Version: The following errors have been found in the S-290 course:


As per direction from the NWCG Training Working Team, instruction of the Fireline Assessment Method (FLAME) material in the S-290 course is optional. This portion does not need to be taught as part of the certified course. The course hours can be reduced by 4 hours if not using the FLAME material. The attached sheet (optional sheet - FLAME) provides direction for adapting the course content.



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