National Wildfire Coordinating Group

S-590, Advanced Fire Behavior Interpretation, N/A

S-590 Decorative banner: Four photos of wildland fire operations. A man stands in front of large maps taped to a wall pointing to a location and talking on a microphone. A firefighter sits on the ground on the side of a mountain, an open book on one knee, as he speaks into a handheld radio. A firefighter takes a weather meter reading as he points his device at the fire beyond. A large plume of smoke rises from a fire in the distant mountains.

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This course was developed using a blended approach to learning. Students are required to complete the online training portion of the course prior to taking the ILT.

S-590 is an intensive course designed to provide prospective Fire Behavior Analyst (FBANs) and Long Term Fire Analyst (LTANs) with the groundwork they will need to succeed throughout the training process. The course focuses on the interpretation of fire behavior products and emphasizes the importance of communicating this information effectively. Ensuring the operational relevance of fire behavior information and inclusion of operational concerns into forecasts and briefings is highlighted as a key skill to providing useful input for both tactical and strategic decisions as well as being critical to firefighter safety. The course focuses on the interpretation of fire behavior outputs and models on a variety of time scales ranging from immediate operational concerns to answering longer term strategic questions.

S-590 is a highly interactive class with full participation required from all students. Course material is presented through a combination of online material and exercises. The residence portion of the class addresses key topics interspersed with in depth fire scenarios. During the fire simulations, students will produce products, briefings and documentation under tight time constraints as they would on a fire assignment. Class size is limited to 50 participants. For current course information, refer to the NAFRI website at


  • Describe the FBAN/LTAN responsibilities and interactions with managers, management teams, meteorologists, and others.
  • Demonstrate skills in analyzing, interpreting, displaying, and communicating fire behavior information and its implications.
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing appropriate wildland fire behavior predictive information.
  • Recognize the importance of and demonstrate the ability to prepare fire behavior documentation.

Target Group

Personnel desiring to be qualified as Fire Behavior Analyst (FBAN) and or Long Term Fire Analyst (LTAN) in wildland fire management operations. Nominees must identify which position(s) they are targeting on their nomination form. 

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

Students seeking qualification as a Fire Behavior Analyst (FBAN):

  • S-490, Advanced Wildland Fire Behavior Calculations
  • Division/Group Supervisor (DIVS)

Students seeking qualification as a Long Term Fire Analyst (LTAN):

  • S-490, Advanced Wildland Fire Behavior Calculations
  • S-491, Intermediate National Fire Danger Rating System
  • S-495, Geospatial Fire Analysis, Interpretation and Application
  • Fire Effects Monitor (FEMO)
  • Firing Boss, Single Resource (FIRB)

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-590 is available as a blended online training and classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course Component Course Time
Pre-course work 4
Pre-selection assessment 4
Online training 8
Instructor-led training 64
Total Hours 80

Pre-Selection Assessment

All nominees will need to successfully complete a pre-selection assessment that requires proficiency in the skills taught in S-490. This is a 4-hour time limited and proctored test. Proficiency in the use of BehavePlus is critical to passing the S-590 pre-selection assessment.

Mentoring Program

An active mentoring program exists for FBAN and LTAN mentees to gain experience prior to attending S-590. S-590 Steering Committee, Geographic Area Coordinating Groups, Training Representatives and Coordination Centers work together in the priority placement of mentees with qualified FBANs and LTANs. Participation is not mandatory but has proven to assist confidence in the classroom. After getting support from your supervisor and unit Training Officer, contact your Geographic Area Training Representative to get more information about the mentoring program. The S-590 Course Coordinator may also assist with concerns or issues regarding the mentoring program.

For this program to be successful, the following actions must occur:

  • Geographic Area Coordinating Groups (GACG) must take a nationally consistent and active role in the identification, prioritization and nomination of candidates.
  • Current Fire Behavior Analysts (FBAN) and Long Term Fire Analysts (LTAN) take an active role in the mentoring of identified candidates.
  • Mentoring opportunities provide candidates with meaningful experiences as Behave technical specialists, Geospatial Analyst (GSAN), and as FBAN and or LTAN trainees.

Computer Requirements

All participants attending S-590 will need to provide their own laptop, portable printer and data cable. Students should be equipped with the hardware (laptop and printer) and software to function as an FBAN and/or LTAN and be self-sufficient at the course as if they were in the field. A detailed listing of hardware and software needs will be included in the course selection letter.

Additional Information

Success in S-590 will depend on the student's communication skills, both written and oral.

Additional skills could be obtained by completing the following:

  • M-410, Facilitative Instructor or other public speaking and technical writing courses.
  • Participating in the S-590 Mentoring Program.
  • Instructing portions of S-490, Advanced Wildland Fire Behavior Calculations course.
  • Attending S-495, Geospatial Fire Analysis Interpretation and Application course.
  • Review of and practice with the BehavePlus program.

S-590 is a national level training course and as such, participants can expect long days.

Course Level


Minimum Instructor Qualifications

This course is managed by a National Steering Committee. Nationally recognized subject matter experts and practitioners serve as instructors in this course.

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


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