S-490, Advanced Fire Behavior Calculations, 2010

Decorative banner: Three photos of wildland fire operations. A firefighter walks away from a heavily burning area behind him. Four firefighters clean up and pile brush in a clearing. Two firefighters discuss a map while standing over the hood of a truck.

Course Overview Page ButtonAdministration ButtonPre-Course Work Button


This is the fourth course in a series designed to develop fire behavior and prediction knowledge and skills. This course prepares students for Advanced Fire Behavior Interpretation, S-590, which addresses the skills for Fire Behavior Analyst and Long Term Fire Analyst positions. It also prepares students desiring to become qualified as a Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 1 (RXB1). The course material is presented in an instructor-led approach to learning. Examples and exercises are divided between wildfire and prescribed fire applications. Students learn to project fire perimeter growth based on weather predictions, and knowledge of fuels and topography, using a variety of scenarios.

A course update is available at https://www.nwcg.gov/course-updates-page and additional instructor developed course materials are available by contacting the Fire Environment Curriculum Subcommittee: https://www.nwcg.gov/committees/fire-environment-curriculum-subcommittee.


  • Collect and evaluate fire behavior prediction model inputs and compute wildland fire behavior using advanced techniques.
  • Use fire behavior models to predict fire growth in varied terrain.
  • Define likely conditions for extreme fire behavior and potential impacts on safety.
  • Interpret, communicate, apply, and document wildland fire behavior and weather information.

Target Group

Personnel desiring to be qualified as a Fire Behavior Analyst (FBAN), Long Term Fire Analyst (LTAN), Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 1 (RXB1) or other fire personnel (including NWCG – sponsored state, county, municipal or rural) who would benefit from this course.  


S-490 is available as classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course ComponentCourse Time
Pre-course work2-4
Pre-selection assessment2-3
Online trainingN/A
Instructor-led training40
Total Hours44-47

Session Offerings

Nationally advertised course sessions can be found by searching for S-490 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 Introduction to S-390, Wildland Fire Behavior Calculations. Proficiency using non-automated fire behavior processors:

  • Nomograms
  • Fireline Handbook, Appendix B: Fire Behavior, PMS 410-2

Proficiency using the latest computerized Fire Modeling System is required.

Course Level

Regional, state, or area


Functional Area: 
Primary Committee: 
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 

Please Provide Feedback

NWCG values your constructive input and we thank you for taking the time to provide feedback.

Although contact information is optional, we hope that you provide a way for us to contact you in case we need clarification on your comment. If you would like to be contacted regarding your feedback, you must provide contact information. 

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.