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Colorado Firecamp - wildland firefighter training

Apply on-line now for Colorado Firecamp's upcoming S-130/190 Basic Firefighter classes:

  • December 8-11, 2022
  • January 5-8, 2023
  • February 2-5, 2023
  • March 2-5, 2023
  • March 30 - April 2, 2023
  • April 20-23, 2023
  • May 11-14, 2023
  • June 1-4, 2023
  • June 22-25, 2023
  • July 13-16, 2023

Cost: $600 includes tuition, books, meals & lodging. Agency sponsorship is not required. Apply online now.

List of items needed for class is posted with S-130/190 class details.

Daily bus service to Salida departs from downtown Denver at 1:45 pm with a one-way cost of about $29 on the Bustang, Gunnison-Denver route. Light rail train service departs every 15 minutes on RTD University of Colorado A Line between Denver International Airport and Union Station in downtown Denver, with a ticket cost of $9 each way. Schedule your flight arrival time for 11:30 am or earlier on the day prior to your class start for the bus connections to Salida. Extra night of lodging costs $30. Firecamp staff will pick-up and drop-off students at the bus stop in Salida at no charge.

Information about finding a job as a wildland firefighter.

South Canyon Fire witness statement — Tony Petrilli, 1994

Introduction to ICS

S-130 Instructor Evaluation

Firefighter 2 Tasks

Interagency Media Guidelines for Wildland Fires—March, 2004

S-130/190 Firefighter Training
and Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior

Interagency Media Guidelines for Wildland Fires
March 19, 2004

General Policy

  • It is the policy of federal and state agencies to provide news media access to incidents including wildland fires, prescribed fires and wildland fire-use fires.

  • Federal and state agencies are required to provide equitable and maximum news media access to wildland fire incidents.

  • For the purposes of these guidelines, news media representatives include print and broadcast reporters; freelance print reporters; freelance videographers; and photographers.

  • While the wildland firefighting agencies seek to provide safe access to incidents for news media representatives, the ultimate responsibility for their safety lies with the individual reporter and their employer.



  • Visits to the fireline must receive the approval of the incident commander or designated

  • News media representatives will be escorted by a person qualified as a single resource boss or other appropriate escort approved by the incident commander. The incident commander may delegate escort approval authority to other incident personnel, such as the lead Information Officer or appropriate local authority.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • News media representatives will be required to wear PPE as outlined in the Fireline Handbook and the Interagency Standards for Fire and Aviation Operations (the “Red Book”) when working on or near the fireline, and have an appropriate safety briefing. PPE must meet National Fire Protection Association/National Wildfire Coordinating Group standards. The required PPE is:
    • 8-inch high, lace-type work boots with non-slip, melt-resistant soles and heels.
    • Aramid shirts
    • Aramid trousers
    • Hard hat with chinstrap
    • Leather gloves
    • Fire shelter
    • Water canteen

PPE may be provided by the fire organization if media representatives are unprepared.

Firefighter Training

  • News media representatives are invited to join in basic firefighter courses with federal and state providers, if there is sufficient room for them.

  • These courses are voluntary. News media should be informed that attending them is not a guarantee of access, nor an endorsement of safety accreditation, but rather is an opportunity for information and education. Reporters can also be referred to authorized contract trainers or the academic community for basic firefighter courses.

  • NWCG member agencies will not administer the work-capacity test to news media representatives because of liability concerns.

“Shadowing” Fire Crews

  • Personnel assigned to an incident will facilitate in-depth coverage opportunities for journalists.

  • News media representatives requesting to “shadow” crews for more than one operational period on the fireline or in the fire area must:

    • Wear personal protective equipment and understand how to use it in accordance with the direction in the fireline handbook.
    • Coordinate activities with the lead Information Officer, who will communicate with the affected crew boss, incident commander, and the fire management officer at the crew’s home unit.
  • It is strongly recommended that reporters requesting to shadow crews complete basic firefighter training including S-130 and S-190. If these courses have been taken in a previous year, a current refresher course is recommended. News media representatives must be able to affirm that they can walk in mountainous terrain, are in good physical condition, and have no known physical limitations.

Red Cards in the Incident Command System

• News media representatives will not be issued Qualification Cards or “red cards” under the Incident Command System. The red-card system was designed for incident personnel with specific duties for which they are trained and qualified, and not for personnel not officially assigned to the incident.

Existing Laws and Policies

These guidelines apply to all wildland fires, prescribed fires, and wildland fire-use fires under federal or state jurisdiction, but are not intended to supersede existing tribal laws; state laws, such as media access laws in California; or chain-of-command procedures applicant to military crews.

Denial of Access

  • Denial of access to fire camp, the fireline or other related areas will be a rare occurrence. News media access may be limited when the Incident Commander determines:
    • Safety of firefighters or others may be compromised. Considerations should be the same as those for determining that conditions are unsafe for fire crews to be on the fireline including extreme fire behavior, expected change in the weather.
    • The presence of non-fire personnel compromises incident operations.
    • The presence of non-fire personnel compromises the integrity of an investigation.
    • A violation of security or privacy of incident personnel would occur.
  • Federal and state agencies will support decisions regarding access by other jurisdictions, such as a private landowner, tribal entity, or local law enforcement agency, such as when the local law enforcement agency closes an area for/during evacuation purposes.
  • Reasons for denial of access should be documented by the lead information officer and become part of the unit log.
  • News media aviation resources must determine and abide by airspace restrictions that may be implemented by the FAA at the request of fire managers.

Contact: Rose Davis, Forest Service Public Affairs for Fire and Aviation Management; 208 387-5437, or Don Smurthwaite, BLM External Affairs for the Office of Fire and Aviation; 208 387-5895.


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