NWCG S-219 Firing Operations Course

(Previously S-234 Ignitions Course)
April 16, 17 & 18, 2018

(online component starts April 12)
Hosted by
The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL.

This course will assist an individual in meeting the National Wildfire Coordinating Group Firing Boss certification.  This course is being offered to educate the public on the roles and responsibilities of a firing boss (FIRB) and outlines duties of other personnel who may engage firing operations. The course discusses and illustrates common firing devices and techniques to safely suppress wildfires and manage prescribed fires.

Offered through a partnership between The Morton Arboretum and Incident Management Specialist LLC. , this course was developed by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG). Participants should expect a blended approach to learning, meaning that it contains a mix of online learning and in-person training led by a certified instructor. This course introduces the roles and responsibilities of a Firing Boss (FIRB) and outlines duties of other personnel who may engage firing operations. The target audience for the 2014 revision has been expanded to include Fire Fighter Type 2. The course discusses and illustrates common firing devices and techniques.  The course provides students with important information regarding general tasks required for directing successful prescribed fire operations. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in a live ignition or a demonstration of the use of an actual firing device that will assist them in transferring these new concepts and skills to the job.

Students are required to complete the four hour online training portion of the course prior to taking the instructor led portion of the course and bring their certificate to the class.
A field day (8 hours) of burning is part of this course regardless of weather conditions.
This course is being delivered over a three day period to allow time for each student to be engaged in burning.  The host for this course feels that this extra day must be included to allow the students to receive the hands on training in how to conduct a burn safely.

Burning is part of this course and if weather does not permit burning then sand table simulations will be used for this portion of the course.


  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of the Firing Boss (FIRB) for planning, execution, safety, coordination, and evaluation of an ignition operation on a wildland or prescribed fire.
  • Describe the characteristics, applications, safety and availability of the various firing devices a Firing Boss (FIRB) has at their disposal.
  • Given a wildland or prescribed scenario, prepare a firing plan and briefing that contains desired fire behavior, firing techniques, required resources, coordination, safety and risk management factors, and communication, to meet specific objectives.


Students seeking a S-219 certification must have successfully completed:

  • S‐130 Basic Wildfire/Prescribed Fire Firefighter
  • S‐190 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior
  • L‐180 Human Factors on the Fireline (which is part of the S-130/S-190 courses)
  • I-100b Introduction to the Incident Command System


As part of registration for this course, participants must submit copies of these certificates to the Registrar’s Office at The Morton Arboretum (registrar-ed@mortonarb.org).

Prior to attending this course:
The S-219 course has an online module, Firing Devices, that students need to complete before arriving for the instructor led portion of the course. Expect to spend about four hours completing the online material. The instructor will ask questions randomly pertaining to the online module; students should be prepared to discuss the online module during the instructor led portion of the course. There is also a knowledge test at the end of the module to ensure its completion. Student’s will need to provide a copy of their certificate of completion for the online component to the instructor for this course at the start of the field sessions.

This course will be taught by Incident Management Specialist LLC, lead instructor Ken Terrill from Sun Prairie, WI. Ken is certified by the National Wildfire Suppression Association (NWSA) to deliver courses approved by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), which is the national organization that has developed the training and qualification standards for wildfire and prescribe fire professionals. Ken has over 30 years of experience in working wildfire and prescribed fire for the State of Wisconsin, South Dakota and nationally.

Terry Trapp, owner of Trapp Forestry Consulting LLC, will assist as an instructor for this class. Terry worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry for over 33 years in many roles including Basin Fire Management Officer and Acting Regional Fire Management Officer.  Mr. Trapp meets the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s qualification as: Prescribed Burn Boss Type 2, Incident Commander Type 2 & 3, Operations Section Chief Type 2 & 3, Safety Officer Type 2, and Firing Boss. Over his career, Terry has deliver suppression and prescribed fire courses approved by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), to wildfire and prescribe fire professionals.

More information on Incident Management Specialist LLC and Ken Terrill:

Notes: Held online, indoors, and outdoors. Please dress for the weather during the outdoor session with long sleeves and long pants/boots appropriate for prescribed burn operations. Limit 20; 16 participants required for the course to proceed.

Requirements: Must have access to the internet and provide an email address at registration.  Must know how to use a web browser (ex: Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer) and how to send and receive email. You will be expected to complete online portions of the course before you arrive for the in-person session.; plan to spend about 4 hours completing the materials online. You must be registered by April 11 in order to have time to complete the online materials.

What to bring to classroom & field day: This course is classroom work, including chapter tests and a final exam. Students must attend all class hours to obtain certification. Students must  submit the prerequisites certificates of the following to the Arboretum Registrar’s Office upon enrollment and bring  a copy of their online S-219 completion certificate to class:

  • S‐130 Fire Fighter
  • S‐190 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior
  • L‐180 Human Factors on the Fireline
  • I-100b Introduction to the Incident Command System

Outdoors activities will be conducted on these field days for the course, depending on weather. Students should bring outdoor clothing (cotton or wool, no synthetics) and sturdy leather boots. Also bring a hard hat, goggles, leather gloves, and Nomex clothing, if you have them.

If you have equipment that you use for conducting firing operations such as an ATV with pump and tank or fire engines with pump and tank, drip torches and other firing devices etc. If you have some two way radios please bring them for the field day of burning. Please try to bring these items to this course so that they can be used to show their capabilities to the students during the field day session for this course.

Continuing education: This class fulfills the S-219 Firing Operations course for the National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Course number


Schedule and Location

(CANCELED) Registration closes 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Online component begins: Thursday, April 12, 2018
In person component: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday April 16, 17 and 18, 2018, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Host address:
The Morton Arboretum, Visitor Center Sycamore Room
4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle, IL 60532

Fees and Admission

Nonmembers: Fees include admission to the Arboretum. 

$775.00 member
$775.00 nonmember

Registration Information

This class is canceled.
Please call the registrar at 630-719-2468 if you have any questions.
(M-F, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

You must register for this course by April 11, 2018  to be eligible to attend the classroom and field days.  A minimum of 16 students will need to register and complete the online portion of the course for the classroom/field day for this course to be conducted.

The registration fee includes the following:

  • Students will be provided the internet access link to access the course materials online.
  • Unlimited scheduled time with course administrator Ken Terrill by phone or email, arranged while the student is working through the online portion of the course. Email ken.terrill3011@gmail.com  or phone 608-358-0453 (cell).
  • Course materials issued on the field day includes a Student Workbook
  • Registration in the national qualifications database established by the National Wildland Fire Suppression Association (the fee of $50.00 is included the cost for this course) which maintains a national list of the people that have successfully completed these courses.
  • If the course is cancelled due to low enrollment the total $775.00 fee will be returned to the student.  A minimum of 16 students will need to register for the course or it will be cancelled.
  • If a student has registered for the class and then cancels after April 11, 2018 a 10% cancellation fee will be charged to the student and the remaining registration fee will be returned to the student. No shows will not be reimbursed.


Weather Cancellation Hotline
Classes run rain or shine unless there is a threat of server weather. If severe weather is forecast please call 630-719-7979 for updates on weather related cancellations.