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Chicago Wilderness Burn Crew Training

Schedule and location


Thornhill Education Center

Registration will open Tuesday, November 19, 2019

  • Section A: Saturday and Sunday, February 22 and 23, 2020 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 
  • Section B: Thursday and Friday, March 5 and 6, 2020 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

Fees and Registration

$75.00 member
$75.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)

BY PHONE: 630-719-2468 ( Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Course description

Chicago Wilderness will offer two winter sessions of the Midwest Ecological Prescription Burn Crew Member Training class. Based on the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s (NWCG) S-130 and S-190 courses, this training covers the basics of such topics as fire behavior, controlled burn techniques, and smoke management. The objective is to provide participants with the background necessary to safely participate on the crew of a controlled burn.

Please be aware that although the training is accepted by many of the natural resource management agencies in the CW region as the minimum training required for a participant on a burn crew, it does not carry the official NWCG certification. This class can be taken as a component of the Natural Areas Conservation Training Program in natural areas management.

Course number



Jay Johnson and John McCabe

Jay Johnson has been with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County since 1985. During his time with the Forest Preserve District, he has worked to maintain the preserves, provided oversight of the boat rental and campground operations, instill a love of nature for all audiences through recreational programming, and has assisted with resource management through various means. With the latter, it has included many years of Rx Burning in all local fuel types.

John McCabe has worked for the Forest Preserves since May of 1990. He has participated in over 500 fires and is recognized as an expert in conducting prescribed burns and wildfire suppression in the urban environment.  He coordinates restoration projects and manages the Natural and Cultural Resources Master Plan, which sets forth the Forest Preserves’ land management direction for the next 25 years. John loves his job, as every day is an adventure at the Forest Preserves of Cook County! 

Course details

  • Notes: Limit 75
  • Continuing education: 12 Continuing Education Credits are available from the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER). 
Chicago Wilderness Burn Crew Training