Formal Fire Training & Opportunities.
This page is intended to provide information regarding local wildland firefighter training opportunities. The prescribed burns conducted in grassland ecosystems, such as Glacier Creek Preserve, are burn activities typical for the Midwest and Great Plains regions. Volunteering to assist with prescribed burns at Glacier Creek Preserve does not require specialized training, but taking advantage of training opportunites when possible provides some advantage during prescribed burns.
Most wildland firefighter training opportunities are based on standards provided by the National Wildfire Coordinanting Group (NWCG). The NWCG offers many courses designed to train individuals to fight wildland fires. However, many of the principles taught in these courses are applicable to prescribed burns typically conducted in the Midwest and Great Plains. By taking the first series of courses, S-130/S-190 (Basic Wildland Fire Fighting and Basic Wildland Fire Behavior) and passing a physical fitness test called a Work Capacity Test (also referred to as a Pack Test), you will be qualified to assist with prescribed burns at other locations such as in the Loess Hills of Iowa with the Pottawattamie County Conservation Board.
Nebraska and Iowa Fire Training Courses
The Pottawattamie County Conservation Board and The Nature Conservancy in Iowa have teamed up to provide the opportunity for the S130/190 Basic Wildland Fire Training course on a bi-annual basis. It is an online course that also requires a Field Day (in March or October). Visit the Pottawattamie County Conservation Natural Areas Management website for more information.
The Iowa DNR Forestry website includes a link to the most recent training events. Training in Iowa is generally offered in the winter. This site also offers many references for prescribed burning.
Other Local Fire Training Courses
The following agencies and organizations offer some other fire training opportunities outside of Nebraska and Iowa. Click on each title for more information.
The Midwest Wildfire Training Academy, located in Jefferson City, Missouri, often offers a wide range of fire training courses.
A link to a range of yearly training information in Minnesota from the Minnesota DNR.
Located in Salida, Colorado, the Colorado Firecamp offers some excellent beginning wildland firefighter courses.
Located in Sterling, Colorado, this Academy also offers a wide range of fire training courses.
Browse for other fire training opportunities around the Nation.
Local Fire Volunteer and Job Opportunities
Pottawattamie County Burn Crew Day-Hire Member
If you have current S-130/190 certification and you have passed the field-level Work Capacity Test, you may be able to gain prescribed burning experience in the Loess Hills of Iowa. Contact Chad Graeve, the Natural Resource Specialist at Hitchcock Nature Center in Pottawattamie County, IA, or visit the Natural Areas Management Program website to learn more about this opportunity.