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Wildland Fire Management

The Wildland Fire Management program is the only of its kind in Western Colorado. Taught by current or retired career firefighters and incident meteorologists, students will be participating in training components in the classroom, on site visits, and field training exercises. Upon completion of this course, students will receive a National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Training Certificate.

Wildland Fire Management (WFM) is any work associated with vegetation fires in rural and urban areas, and in the Wildland Urban Interface. Jobs that include WFM are some of the most challenging and rewarding careers available. Unlike the outdoor recreations who can choose the date, time, location, and type of weather to be outdoors, WFM personnel can respond to fires 24/7 in all types of conditions.

Large fires are major incidents that often cross jurisdictional boundaries. Local, State, and Federal fire agencies have adopted uniform standards, training, and operational procedures to better facilitate interagency functionality during fires with multi-agency jurisdiction or response. The NWCG is an organization responsible for standardization. All WCCC training meets NWCG standards.

Program Strengths:

  • Teachers involved in the field of work
  • Site visit and Field Training Exercise experience
  • Alignment with NWCG certificate standards
  • The only Wildland Fire Management program in Western Colorado

Professionals need working competencies in a wide variety of subject areas in order to be successful in this field. These subject areas include: meteorology, applied physics, ecology, radio communications, use and maintenance of hand tools and chainsaws, global positioning systems, heat stress and human physiology, emergency incident command systems, hydraulics and fluid dynamics, organizational management and leadership, aviation management, public affairs, wilderness and mountaineering skills, backcountry emergency medical procedures, and computer modeling applications.

Career Opportunities

There are a variety of agencies that hire WFM personnel on a seasonal and career basis.

These agencies include:

Municipal fire departments

County Sheriffs and Fire Marshals

State Forestry and Fire Organizations

Bureau of Land Management

U.S. Forest Service

National Park Service

Bureau of Indian Affairs

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Department of Defense Fire Departments

Degree Options

This Associate of Applied Science degree can be used toward a Colorado Mesa University Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration/Public Safety or Environmental Science. Credit for prior learning is available for agency sponsored NWCG training courses.

Emphasis/Degree Options

Associate of Applied Science
Wildland Fire Management

Program Sheet