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Chicago Wilderness Prescription Burn Crew Training (Online)

Schedule and location

Thursday, February 25, 2021, noon (Central time): Access self-paced materials online.
Thursday and Friday, March 4 and 5, 2021,  9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Central time): Attend live sessions online.

Fees and registration

$75.00 member

$75.00 guest

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

Course description

Chicago Wilderness offers the Midwest Ecological Prescription Burn Crew Member Training class online through The Morton Arboretum. Based on the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s (NWCG) S-130 and S-190 courses, this two-day 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. Class will take place using Zoom web conferencing, and will include presentations by expert instructors, live class discussions, and an online final exam. There will be breaks throughout the day and a lunch break in the middle of the day.

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 supplement to 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


  • This class includes both online material that can be completed at your own pace, live discussions using Zoom web conferencing, and an online exam.
  • Some online assignments must be completed before the live discussions.
  • Participants will have access to online materials for 60 days after the course start date
  • You must pass the online exam to earn your certificate of completion.
  • Registration closes at 7:00 a.m. (Central time) on the day the online materials are released.


  • Participants must have access to the internet, be able to use Zoom web conferencing software, and know how to send and receive email.
  • New to Zoom? Watch this short video to learn how to join a meeting.
  • A unique email address for each participant is required at registration. 


Chicago Wilderness Prescription Burn Crew Training (Online)