S-443, Infrared Interpreter for Incident Management

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S-443 is typically offered once a year to provide students with the knowledge and skills required of an Infrared Interpreter (IRIN) as well as how and where the IRIN fits into the information flow of an incident. The students use infrared imagery from the Phoenix system to interpret and map the heat perimeter and heat concentrations, calculate acreage burned and produce summary products. Understanding of topographic map reading and basic fire behavior are preferred but not required. The course combines lecture/discussion, multiple exercises, and there is a pass/fail final exam.


Upon completion of this course the student will have the knowledge, skills, and resources to support wildland fire incidents as an IRIN trainee. This includes:

  • Understand capabilities and limitations of thermal infrared imagery.
  • Interpret Phoenix infrared imagery to map heat perimeters and heat concentrations accurately on a topographic base.
  • Produce GIS-ready shapefiles, kmz files, maps, and logs utilizing standard IR naming conventions for delivery to the incident.
  • Establish and maintain proper communications with the Situation Unit Leader (SITL) and others on an incident, dispatchers, IR pilots and technicians, and National and/or Regional IR coordinators.

Target Group

Federal, state, and local agency personnel with GIS skills interested in supporting wildland fire incidents. Candidates from all agencies involved in wildland fire management are encouraged to apply.

NOTE: Knowledge and skill in GIS is required for this course. Although some new functionality is presented, the student is expected to be comfortable working with, and creating products in, GIS.


S-443 is available as classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course ComponentCourse Time
Pre-course work4
Pre-selection assessmentN/A
Online trainingN/A
Instructor-led training32
Total Hours36

Session Offerings

Nationally advertised course sessions can be found by searching for S-443 on the National Wildland Fire Training website. Contact your local Training Officer for more information about local course sessions.

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

  • Working knowledge of the current version of ArcGIS. The course is designed for those comfortable working with ArcMap.
  • Adept at working within the directory structures in Windows and in use of Windows Explorer file management and folder structures.

Course Level

Regional, state, or area

Associated Position Task Books

Infrared Interpreter (PMS 311-26)


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