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 wildland fires in rural and urban areas. Jobs that include WFM are some of the most challenging and rewarding careers available. Wildland Fire Management personnel cannot choose the date, time, location or type of weather they will encounter, but must 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 Wildland Fire training courses meet NWCG standards.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate proficient formal and informal communication and writing skills that are professional in nature (Communication Fluency)
  2. Apply mathematical concepts required of entry level wildland firefighters. (Quantitative Fluency)
  3. Demonstrate specialized and holistic knowledge of interagency Wildland Fire Management (Specialized Knowledge)
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in basic skills required for entry level Wildland Fire Management professionals (Applied Learning)
  5. Evaluate leadership and ethical issues specific to Wildland Fire Management (Specialized Knowledge)

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, biology, ecology, geology, 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, communication and 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

Seasonal Temporary Employment

US Forest Service Jobs-Rocky Mountain Region



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

Wildland Fire Program Sheet