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California State-Certified Prescribed Fire Burn Boss (CARX)

Contra Costa County Fire Training Center, Concord, CA

June 10th - 14th, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (40 hours)

Deadline to apply was March 25th 

This in person classroom-based course provides information about and develops the skills required for planning and managing prescribed fire on State or private lands. The curriculum includes portions of the NWCG courses RX301, RX341, and RX410 classes, but should not be considered a substitute for any of these RX classes. There is no course equivalency between this class and any NWCG course. This course contains instructor-led training, including simulation exercises and a task book. Students are required to complete the prerequisites (coursework, firing, and leadership requirements) prior to taking the instructor-led training and completing the task book. As detailed in the course plan, this course was developed and formatted into the SFT curriculum development model. Stakeholders are encouraged to study this information carefully and seek clarification from SFT if questions arise. Certified persons may act as contractors within land designated as State Responsibility Area (SRA) by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

This course is intended for experienced prescribed or cultural fire practitioners who wish to be recognized by the state for their knowledge and expertise. Could include retired fire professionals, landowners and community members, NGO staff, private contractors, tribal members and cultural burners, state and local agency staff, and others.

Students will receive a State Fire Training certificate upon successful completion of course.

For additional information regarding State Certified Prescribed-Fire Burn Boss Certification, Course Plan and Equivalency Information click here.

For PACE VI Application and prerequisite equivalency information click here.


Coursework Requirements: 

  • IS-100 Introduction to the Incident Command System
  • S-190 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior
  • S-130 Firefighter Training
  • S-290 Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior (classroom only, online courses not accepted)

Firing Requirements:

Qualified NWCG/CICCS Firing Boss (FIRB) or both equivalent firing experience and one of the following courses: S-219 Firing Operations, CA-219 Wildland Firefighting – Firing Operations, C-234 Ignition Operations, or S-234 Ignition Operations

Leadership Requirements:

S-131 Advanced Firefighter or L-280 Followership to Leadership or Qualified NWCG/CICCS Firefighter Type 1 (FFT1) or equivalent leadership experience (to see equivalency information click here).

Time Details
Monday, June 10th

Orientation and Administration

State-Certified Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Certification Process

History and the Role of Prescribed Fire - Tribal Use of Fire

Laws and Regulations Governing Prescribed Fire/Permitting

Burn Prescription and Fire Behavior Modeling

Tuesday, June 11th

Field Activity:

  • Visit potential burn site
  • Gather information for development of burn plan, IAP, and maps
Wednesday, June 12th

Firing Operations/Methods

Developing a Burn Plan

Operational Leadership on a Prescribed-Fire

Building an IAP

Thursday, June 13th 

Developing a Smoke Management Plan

Operational Briefing and Prescribed Fire Operations

Work on Burn Plan

Friday, June 14th 

Completion of Burn Plan and Presentations

Operational Briefings

Final exam and close-out

The course includes daily homework assignments. Students will need to work together in small groups after class hours to complete these assignments. 


Woody Bouska, President and Owner, SURE-FIRE TRAINING INC.

The lead instructor, Woody Bouska, is the president of SURE-FIRE Training Inc., a corporation that specializes in delivering high quality professional wildfire consulting, analysis, planning, mitigation and education services. Woody has over 40 years of experience in the wildland fire service and is a wildfire risk analysis and mitigation specialist. Woody has extensive experience working with various agencies and organizations planning, and conducting, prescribed burns and wildland fuels management projects. Woody is also a registered California State Fire Training Instructor who provides a variety of consulting and training services for fire departments, land management agencies and other government and corporate organizations throughout the world. He received his formal education from UC Davis in Wildlife Biology.

Sarah Gibson, Fire Manager - California

Sarah Gibson started a Career in Public Service in 1999 working in Emergency Medical Services as an EMT after graduating from CSU Chico with a BS in Exercise Physiology. Sarah then pursued a fire career beginning as a volunteer firefighter in 2001 in Butte County with CDF (Cal Fire) and become a Nationally Registered Paramedic that same year. Sarah began a full-time career in suppression with State and Local Government agencies in 2002 following graduation from the Butte College Fire Academy. Sarah promoted to Company Officer and successfully achieved several ICS positions before deciding to focus on developing a  career pathway that would allow her to  implement beneficial fire and Prescribed Fire across the Golden State. Sarah is a qualified CARX and RXB2(t), and also an RXMG. In 2020, Sarah earned a second BS from CSU San Marcos in Wildland Fire Science and Urban Interface Planning.  Sarah has been engaged in fire planning and implementation across the US including work Virginia, Minnesota, Missouri , Florida,  Georgia, Nebraska, Oregon, and California. In her spare time you are likely to catch Sarah running, mountain biking, surfing, bird watching, or wildflower gazing whenever possible.

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