Megan Matonis
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fuel Treatments & Effects
Prescribed Fire-use treatments
Recovery after fire

NRFSN number: 24114
FRAMES RCS Number: 60857
Record updated: January 20, 2022

Prescribed burning is an effective method to reduce hazardous fuels and restore ecological conditions across a variety of ecosystems. Twenty-one states have laws or policies that direct state agencies to oversee formal training programs to certify individuals in safe burning techniques. Fifteen of these states have active certified prescribed burn manager programs(CPBM). Michigan and Oregon did not implement certification programs due to lack of funding, and California, Minnesota, Washington, and West Virginia are currently developing CPBM programs.The Washington State Legislature charged the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to develop a certified prescribed burn manager program under Washington House Bill 2733 of 2018. The Washington DNR, Washington Resource Conservation & Development Council, and Washington Dry Forest Fire Learning Network contracted the Forest Stewards Guild to compile information about existing CPBM programs and provide guidance for Washington’s CPBM program. Findings and recommendations in this report are broadly applicable to other states considering new CPBM programs or revising existing programs. Key aspects of CPBM programs are objectives, benefits of certification, target audience, prerequisites, required coursework, required burning experiences, length of certification, decertification standards, and program administration.The mechanics of existing CPBM programs vary widely among states. For example, Pennsylvania and Colorado have rigorous certification requirements congruent with National Wildfire Coordinating Group standards. Certification programs in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina,Tennessee, and Virginia have fewer requirements and are more accessible to landowners with little to no previous fire experience.


Matonis, Megan S. 2020. Insights and suggestions for certified prescribed burn manager programs. Forest Stewards Guild. 44 p.

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