S-390 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior

S-390: Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Calculations
January 27-31, 2014
 Pre-course Reading Instructions
You have been nominated for S-390 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Calculations,
to be held January 27-31 in Room 210 at the SW Montana Training Center. Your selection is
contingent upon successful completion of the S-390 Pre-Course Qualification Test.
Pre-Course Qualification Test and study materials are available on the internet:
http://training.nwcg.gov/pre-courses/S390/s390.html. You have to type this in exactly as
written; i.e., the URL has a capital S in the first S390, but a lower case s in s390.html.
Alternately, you can go to training.nwcg.gov, then on the left hand side,
choose Online Training, then look at the left side of that screen,
choose Online Pre-Course Work
Scroll down to S-390 and choose that link.
Once you have read the material provided and reviewed any areas that you may need to brush
up on, you access the pre-course study and S-390 Pre-Course Qualifying Test; the link
provided above will give you access. You only have one attempt at the pre-course work
test. Once you’ve completed the S-390 Pre-Course Qualifying Test, you will know whether or
not you’ve passed. We will receive an electronic copy of your test results and we will know the
areas that challenged you and your score, so our cadre can:
1. Inform you where you missed points for your review;
2. Know in which areas most students are having trouble
If you are unable to retrieve the information from the CD, or do not have access to a
computer, please let your supervisor or training officer know so he or she can work with
you on this. Most of the material on the CD and internet are no longer available in book form,
but your office may have copies in their libraries that you may study to prepare you for the test
and the class. If needed, an electronic copy of the test can be sent to your supervisor or
training officer that they can print off for you. They need to proctor you while you take the test,
which has a 2 hour time limit. Be aware that the completed test must be in my office (either
electronically or faxed or mailed) by 3:00 pm on Thursday, January 16. We will create
a selection letter based on the results of the Pre-Course Qualifying Test and try to have it
emailed and posted on our University of Montana website by the morning of January 20th.
Because this is the holiday season and many people might be unavailable to proctor a test, be
sure to give your supervisor or training officer plenty of notice if you think you will need to take
the pretest on paper. I will also be in and out, so try to contact me by email or leave a voice
message if you need a paper copy of the test or anything else.
Check-off pre-course study accomplishments (Done prior to Pre-Course Qualification Test)
 I have read and practiced using exercises provided in the Weather and Topography
folders within the Pre-Course Work Study Materials on the Student CD.
 I have read the following: found on the Student CD in Reference Material
o Aids to Determining Fuel Models for Estimating Fire Behavior
o How to Predict Spread and Intensity of Forest and Range Fires
 Introduction (p. 1)
 Predicting Fire Behavior (p. 2-5)
 Fuel Moisture (p. 13-14)
 Wind (p. 20-28)
 Slope (p. 39-40)
You will need to know this
 Nomograms (p. 43-48)
for the class.
o Fireline Handbook Appendix B: Fire Behavior
 I have printed a color copy of Aids to Determining Fuel Models for Estimating Fire
Behavior and will bring it with me to class
Suggested Further Reading
o Fire Weather Handbook (NFES 1174) – If you are not proficient in weather skills.
This is out of print, so either borrow one from your office or read it on the CD or
o “Basic Land Navigation”– If you are not proficient in map reading and slope
calculation skills. This reference is available online at the link provided.
o The Firefighter Math website: www.firefightermath.org
o Incident Response Pocket Guide (any weather or fire behavior related material
would be beneficial).
If you feel you also want to review the material you learned in S-290, most of it is now on the
web at: http://www.meted.ucar.edu/dl_courses/S290/modules.php for the actual test or at
http://www.meted.ucar.edu/fire/s290/takeaways/index.htm for refreshers; you will have to
create a free account. Feel free to look around that website to better prepare you for the test,
and of course, the S-390 class.
Final selection into the course is contingent upon successful completion of the S-390
Pre-course Test, with a minimum passing score of 70%. If you have difficulty completing
the pre-course study material, consider taking the Pre-Course Qualification Test after
consultation with your supervisor. You must return the test prior to 3:00 pm on January
16, 2014. If you have questions or are unable to return the test by then, please call Lead
Instructor Tony Navarro at (406) 241-1079.
S-390 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Calculations
 Pre-Course Qualification Test Instructions
Just to remind you, I need to have the test results in my office by 3:00 Mountain
Standard Time on January 16th, 2014.
You have the option of taking the S-390 Pre-Course Qualification Test on the internet or on
hard copy. Please email anthonynavarro@fs.fed.us with the email address of your training
officer or supervisor. Upon notification, I will email a test to that person. Then they can fax,
email, or mail the results to me such that I receive it by 3:00 pm on January 16.
Study materials and the test are online:
Nominees may also use the Student CD we are mailing the week of November 21-25 to review
and read about weather, maps, fire behavior, etc., and prepare for the Pre-Course
Qualification Test. The reference material on the Student CD matches the online content.
To-Do List to study for and take Pre-Course Qualification Test:
 Review the reference material links on the website listed above or on the Student CD as
described in the S-390 Pre-course Reading Instructions.
 Print the maps listed on the website above to use during the pre-course work exercises
and Pre-Course Qualification Test. We have mailed a copy of the Hell Roaring Map to
use for the Qualification Test; it should be used during your test to ensure proper scale.
 When ready, click
at the bottom of the page. It will allow you to review
the material again to better prepare you for the Pre-Course Qualification Test.
 Near the bottom of the menu on the left is:
This is where you will
register for and take the test.
 When you register for the course, you must enter my email address so I can receive
your test results. It is anthonynavarro@fs.fed.us. It’s extremely important that you
enter it correctly to ensure that you get credit for taking and passing the test.
Here is a sample of what the website looks like and what you need to enter:
Your Name:
Sally Star (Put your real name, please)
Your email:
SallyTheStar@gmail.com (Ensure it is your primary
winter contact email…not necessarily your work email)
S-390 (You need to enter this in the field. It is not done by
Training Location:
UM, Missoula, MT
Coordinator or Instructor Name:
Tony Navarro
Coordinator or Instructor email:
Your winter contact phone number
If you put your phone number, I can call and leave a message that I have received your test.
If you didn’t get a 70% to pass, please contact me by phone or email prior to December 16.
This is what it will look like when your register:
Tony Navarro
If you fail to input my email address, I will not receive notice that you have completed the test.
Consequently, I will assume you have withdrawn from the course.
You need to take this test by yourself. This is not a group exercise. If you can’t pass
the Pre-Course Qualifying Test on your own, then you will not be able to pass the final
test on your own, so be honest with yourself.
The only items you need and are allowed to have when you take the pre-course test are:
Pens and/or pencils
Ruler and protractor
Fireline Handbook with Fire Behavior Supplement-Appendix B
Calculator to do arithmetic
Hell Roaring Map
You will have 2 hours to complete the Pre-Course Qualifying Test. Your selection to be
eligible to attend the course will, in large part, depend on your score on this Pre-Course
Qualifying Test. You need to attain a score of 70% on the Pre-Course Qualifying Test in order
to be automatically selected for the course. If there is any reason that you feel the results of
your Pre-Course Qualifying Test are not indicative of your abilities, have your supervisor call
me at the number provided.
If you don’t think you can take and pass the test online and would prefer to take the test
by paper, let me know and I can email the test to your training officer or supervisor.
If you get REALLY frustrated and can’t reach me by email @ anthonynavarro@fs.fed.us, call
my cell phone and I will see what I can do to help.
My Primary Winter Contact : (406) 241-1079. If I don’t immediately reply to your voicemail,
please call the Training Center’s program manager, Chris Johnson @ (406) 529-7751
Good luck, and please don’t wait until the last minute to get this done or you may not get
selected into the course.
Tony Navarro
Course Coordinator