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NWCG Training Courses

S-244: Field Observer/Fire Effects Monitor

The NWCG course S-244 (Field Observer/Fire Effects Monitor) was revised in 2007; the position taskbooks (PTB) for FOBS and FEMO were significantly changed and combined in 2009. S-244 is not scheduled for another revision, so the Fire Use Subcommittee of NWCG sponsored the development of supplemental lessons (“patches”) to address knowledge required by the PTB but not covered in the existing S-244 course. The objective was to make the knowledge necessary for successful completion of the FOBS/FEMO taskbook readily available to instructors of S-244 as well as to currently qualified FOBS’s and FEMO’s who may want to acquire knowledge that was not originally covered in S-244 or the earlier position taskbooks.

Online Self-Study Lessons for S-244 Field Observer/Fire Effects Monitor

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Currently, S-244 is not a required course for the FOBS or FEMO positions, so you have the option of acquiring the knowledge needed for successful completion of the taskbook through self-study. The following lesson plan will allow you to meet the course objectives for S-244 through self-study—no travel costs, no final exam. You will not receive a course certificate or credit for S-244, but the suggested material will supplement the knowledge, skills and experience you gain as you work through the taskbook, and make your training assignments more meaningful. The lessons are also useful to fully-qualified FOBS and FEMO’s who wish to review information that may not have been part of their trainee experience.

Prerequisites 

The prerequisite for the Field Observer position is any Single Resource Boss; the prerequisite for the FEMO position is Firefighter Type 2. S-244 has  the prerequisite and assumes knowledge of S-290 (Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior). If you have not taken this course yet, it would be very beneficial to complete the online S-290 at the MetEd website. This S-290 course is free (you just have to set up a free account), and you can receive full credit for S-290.

Self-Study Lesson Plan

Learning Objectives (pdf)

Unit 1. FOBS/FEMO Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and Responsibilities (use the FOBS/FEMO Position Taskbook and the FOBS/FEMO position description from the 2012 Fireline Handbook to review roles and responsibilities).

Policy & Planning

Reports & Summaries

Unit 2. Mapping and Navigation (use the exercises in the Basic Land Navigation publication to learn and practice these skills)

Unit 3. Environmental Observations

Fire Weather & Extreme Atmospheric Conditions

Fire Behavior Observations

Fuel Moisture Sampling

Unit 4. Fire Effects Monitoring

General Concepts of Fire Effects

Measuring Fire Effects

Field Methods in Fire Effects Monitoring (use the Fire Monitoring Handbook to become familiar with field methods)

Smoke Observations

Field Report Forms

Supplemental Lesson Material for S-244 Classroom Presentation

These lesson “patches” can be incorporated into a classroom offering of S-244 by lengthening the course from 20 hours to 24 hours (it can still be done in 3 days). The suggested course agenda offers a schedule incorporating all of the lesson “patches,” but lead instructors may choose to use all or some of this supplemental material. The lessons are formatted as Microsoft PowerPoint files with high resolution photos; some lessons incorporate video files.

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Unit 1. FOBS/FEMO Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and Responsibilities (not available—use standard S-244 lesson)

Policy & Planning.pptx

Policy & Planning.zip (video)

 

Reports & Summaries.pptx

Reports & Summaries.zip (video)

Unit 2. Mapping and Navigation (not available—use standard S-244 lesson)

 

Unit 3. Environmental Observations

Fire Weather & Extreme Atmospheric Conditions.pptx

Fire Weather & Extreme Atmospheric Conditions.zip (video)

 

Fire Behavior Observations.pptx

Fire Behavior Observations.zip (video)

 

Fuel Moisture Sampling.zip (video)

 

Unit 4. Fire Effects Monitoring

General Concepts of Fire Effects.pptx

General Concepts of Fire Effects.zip (video)

 

Measuring Fire Effects.pptx

Measuring Fire Effects.zip (video)

Field Methods in Fire Effects Monitoring (Field exercises—use the Fire Monitoring Handbook as a reference)

Smoke Observations.pptx

Smoke Observations.zip (video)

 

Field Report Forms (for Final Exam)

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S-495: Geospatial Fire Analysis, Interpretation, and Application

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) course “S-495: Geospatial Fire Analysis, Interpretation, and Application” has two components: online and instructor-led. This course is a combination of the former S-492 and S-493 NWCG courses and additional materials.

To register for the S-495: Geospatial Fire Analysis, Interpretation, and Application Self Study Course, please register or visit the FRAMES Online Course System

 

For additional S-495 course information and upcoming sessions please visit the National Advanced Fire and Resource Institute webpage.   

 

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Please contact us.