Field Observer Course


This course provides students with the skills necessary to perform as a Field Observer (FOBS) and/or a Fire Effects Monitor (FEMO). Topics include roles and responsibilities of the FOBS and FEMO; how to make observations and document those observations; how to produce hand drawn and GPS field maps; and how to navigate using a compass and GPS. The navigation unit has 4½ hours of field exercises and the final field exercise is 8 hours. For pre-course work, students need to read and complete exercises in Basic Land Navigation, PMS 475.


  • Demonstrate skills and knowledge to gather and report information for incident planning.
Field Observer | Cost: $125

All classes on Monday, May 18th will begin at 0900 (CT).

On all other days, classes will begin at 0800 (CT).

Classes are scheduled to end each day by 1700 (CT).

Instructor: NPS

May 18th - 20th | Individual Registration REGISTER

Course Components and Hours to Complete

  • Pre-selection Assessment: N/A
  • Pre-course Work: 8
  • Online Training: N/A
  • Instructor-led Training: 20
  • Total Hours: 28

Target Group
Personnel desiring to be qualified as a field observer (FOBS) and/or fire effects monitor (FEMO).

Minimum Instructor Qualifications
Lead instructor must be a qualified situation unit leader (SITL).
Unit instructors must be qualified field observers (FOBS) or Fire Effects Monitor (FEMO).

Also see Instructor Certification at the beginning of the Field Manager's Course Guide.

Course Prerequisites
Successful completion of pre-course work.
Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior (S-290).
Basic understanding of how to use a GPS receiver.

FOBS: Qualified as any single resource boss


FEMO: Qualified as firefighter type 2 (FFT2)

Course Level