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S-290, Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior Training Course

Classroom-based Training Course: January 28-31, 8:30am -5pm 


This was a classroom-based skills course designed to prepare the prospective Fireline supervisor to undertake safe and effective fire management operations. It is the second course in a series that collectively serves to develop fire behavior prediction knowledge and skills. Fire environment differences are discussed as necessary; instructor's stressed local conditions.  


  • Identify and describe the characteristics of fuels, weather, and topography that influence wildland fire behavior.  

  • Describe the interaction of fuels, weather, and topography on wildland fire behavior, Fireline tactics, and safety.  

  • Describe the causes of extreme fire behavior conditions (long range spotting, crowning, and fire whirls) that develop due to weather, fuels, and/or topography.  

  • Interpret, communicate, apply, and document wildland fire behavior and weather information. 


Time Details
1/28 Introductions/Leaders Intent/ Course Introduction
(Saturday) The Fire Environment
  Basic Weather Processes
  Temperature and Humidity Relationships
1/29 Atmospheric Stability
(Sunday) Wind Systems
1/30 Keeping Current with the Weather
(Monday) Fuel Moisture
  Extreme Wildland Fire Behavior
1/31 Gauging Fire Behavior and Guiding Fireline Decisions
(Tuesday) Final Exam


Scot Steinbring, Director of Operations Manager, TorchBearr Fire School

Scot Steinbring has spent over thirty years working in fire-related fields. His career has spanned both fire suppression and prescribed burning in that time completing many acres of thinning, project layout, planning and implementation . He started on a Forest Service fire engine at age 18 and from there pursued every training opportunity he could get, becoming qualified as a firefighter, squad boss, crew rep, engine boss, fire instructor, type 2 burn boss, and division group supervisor. He also opened a task book for packing fire resources into remote areas, and loves working with horses. Scot spent 25 years working at the Forest Service, and his time at that agency culminated in a job at Sequoia National Forest where he managed a program of 480 call-when-needed crew-members and took responsibility for their training, mobilization and safety. Scot then took his considerable fire experience and skills to Cal Fire, where he worked for three years as a prevention officer in the Tulare unit, learning valuable lessons in fire inspections and public outreach. Scot also serves as a qualified Division Group Supervisor and Operations Section Chief trainee on a California Type 2 Incident Management Team that responded nationally.  Subsequently, Scot went to work for two California Tribes as a Fire Management officer, Consulted for private fire contracting company, and currently a CWN Type 2 burn boss for the Nature Conservancy. He also recently co-founded the non-profit organization Torchbearr, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on promoting prescribed fire for a brighter fire future for all. Torchbearr uses training, hands on burning, and education to accomplish this mission. Scot enjoys training future generations, and logs over 600 hours of training per year. Those hours include everything from basic 100 series fire classes to more advanced 300 series fire classes. Scot provides fire instruction and burn boss services to partner organizations including prescribed burn associations throughout California.  

His motto is “Learn from the past, Train the present or fail the future”  

Terry Warlick, Type 2 Burn Boss and Fire Instructor

Terry Warlick is a veteran fire lighter and fire fighter who serves as a Type 2 Burn Boss and Fire Instructor.  He started his career in fire at Shasta Trinity National Forest in 1991 and finished it 29 years later at Mendocino National Forest. During that time he has served as a firefighter working on an engine, a hotshot fire fighter, a fuels planner, and he retired as a Battalion Chief in 2020. Coming from the generation of firefighting he did, Warlick has had ample opportunity to learn and teach to National Wildfire Coordinating Group standards, and to apply that learning and teaching on the ground during controlled burns and wildfires. Warlick brings a wealth of fire knowledge and background to his Torchbearr responsibilities, and is excited to help build capacity and comfort levels for prescribed fire.

Richard Sandoval, Retired Battalion Chief, Sequoia National Forest 

Richard has over 35 years of wildland fire fighting experience. He has provided fire instruction for the past 25 years, from Basic ICS system to the more advanced ICS-400 classes. Richard was the lead instructor for the Basic 32 Wildland classes taught out of the Porterville Adult School for the past 10 years. Richard is a retired U.S. Forest Service Battalion Chief with 25 years of service. He holds two honorable military discharges , one from the U.S. Marine Corps and the other from the U.S. Army. Richard is a proud veteran, husband, father, grandfather and Dallas Cowboys fan. 

Jeff Tonkin, Incident Meteorologist, National Weather Service - NOAA

Jeff began his career with the National Weather Service as an intern meteorologist in Anchorage Alaska in the summer of 1995. It was in this office where he was introduced to the field of fire weather and received his first taste of incident meteorology by visiting an incident command post on the Kenai Peninsula. In 2001, he returned to his home state of California being promoted to a senior forecaster position in Eureka California where he developed and managed the office’s Fire Weather Program for 18 years. In 2003 Jeff earned certification as an incident meteorologist and has since been assigned to 55 incidents. Jeff is currently the lead trainer for the National Incident Meteorologist Program and has recently accepted a position on the NWCG’s Fire Behavior Subcommittee.  Growing up in Glendale, CA, Jeff graduated from Hoover High School in 1982. He then moved to Santa Cruz where he attended Cabrillo Community College, earning an Associates of Science degree. He then attended San Jose State University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Meteorology combined with a minor in mathematics.A few of the more notable accomplishments throughout his career include earning The Double Ace Award from the Incident Meteorology Program. This award signifies that an IMET has reached at least 50 incidents; a very rare milestone in the program. In 2015 Jeff was honored to fulfill a NOAA request to travel to Hobart, Australia for a 6 week assignment of providing fire weather support for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. In 2018 Jeff was decorated with the NOAA Bronze Award for his work related to the October Bay Area fires of 2017.  Since 2015 Jeff has thoroughly enjoyed serving on the Predictive Services Specialist Group of Firescope. This rewarding detail has allowed him to work with a very talented group of people from both the private and public sector, while experiencing and attempting to find solutions for the many challenges that fighting wildfire in California offers.  In addition to enjoying a very satisfying career, Jeff is an avid golfer playing both recreationally and competitively. Jeff has been blessed with two beautiful children Jake and Mia whom are currently attending universities in California.

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