National Wildfire Coordinating Group

S-591, Advanced National Fire Danger Rating System, N/A

S-591 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 is the next level of analytical instruction above S-491 which focuses on the role of fire danger rating in resource decision making, through development of a fire danger rating operating plan. Students will be provided the skills to analyze and troubleshoot fire danger rating from the fire weather station scale to multiple fire danger rating areas. The course will provide individuals the technical skills to serve as instructors for geographic area level courses for all wildland fire agencies using the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS).


  • Through the development of an operating plan participants will demonstrate skills required to design, setup, and manage NFDRS at the local level. These include:
    • Identifying the fire problem(s).
    • Delineating Fire Danger Rating Areas.
    • Verifying input data used for NFDRS.
    • Applying NFDRS tools to inform and support fire management decisions.
    • Documenting the analysis, decisions, and operational processes.
  • Describe the relationship of NFDRS to other wildland fire decision support tools.
  • Demonstrate how fire danger rating supports local, state, Geographic Area and National decision-making.
  • Introduce new NFDRS related technology
  • Participants will develop technical knowledge to support Geographic Area NFDRS training and implementation.

Target Group

This course is designed for individuals: responsible for resource analysis, decision support and decision making based on outputs from NFDRS at the local/state/national level and corresponding positions; responsible for Intelligence, Predictive Services, and/or Fire Weather Forecasting; Fire Behavior Analysts (FBAN) and Long Term Fire Analysts (LTAN) who desire advanced NFDRS application and use; responsible for providing technical support and oversight for NFDRS; who will become geographic area NFDRS instructors; with a passion to become the next generation to carry NFDRS forward.‚Äč

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

  • S-491, Intermediate National Fire Danger Rating System

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-591 is available as a blended training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course Component Course Time
Pre-selection assessment 10
Pre-course work N/A
Online training 15
Instructor-led training 48
Total Hours 73

Computer Requirements

Students must bring their agency laptop to use during the course at NAFRI. If you do not have a laptop available to you, there are in limited supply at NAFRI and are on a first come first serve basis; use of your own agency laptop is strongly suggested.

Course Level


Minimum Instructor Qualifications

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

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


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