L-381, Incident Leadership


L-381, This is a leadership development training recommendation for incident response personnel who will function in fireline command roles. The training should be designed to provide at least 50% of the delivery time as exercises and simulations. Low student-to-instructor ratios are necessary for successful exercise/simulation-based training delivery. A dedicated cadre of at least three instructors is recommended for a class size of 18-25 students.


The NWCG Leadership Subcommittee has oversight and maintenance responsibility for the L-381 criteria and evaluation process. However, the delivery process used to meet this training recommendation will need to be determined by the hosting agency. Specific course information can be found at the Wildland Fire Leadership website at https://www.fireleadership.gov/courses/courses.html.

Incident Leadership | Cost: $175

All classes on Monday May 20th will begin that day at 0900 (CT).

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

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

May 20th - 24th | Individual Registration REGISTER

Selected course materials should address these topic areas:

  • Command presence/climate
  • Leader’s intent
  • Command and control
  • Rapid team building
  • Communication techniques
  • Detecting and mitigating error
  • Operational tempo awareness


  • The intent of this training recommendation is to provide future leaders of divisions, groups, and Type 3 incidents with the leadership tools to effectively exert command and control over a quickly assembled team in a time constrained and rapidly changing incident environment.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

  • Pre-selection assessment N/A
  • Pre-course work 8
  • Online training N/A
  • Instructor-led training 32
  • Total Hours 40

Target Group
Personnel desiring to be qualified as Division/Group Supervisor (DIVS) or Incident Commander Type 3 (ICT3).

Minimum Instructor Qualifications
All lead instructors must be certified by the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee. The combined cadre must have career backgrounds and expertise in principle-centered leadership, emergency incident operations, human factors, and decision-making.
All instructors must be able to execute field simulations, role-playing, and classroom exercises.
Field Manager’s Course Guide 36 of 142

Course Prerequisites
Qualified as any Strike Team Leader, Task Force Leader (TFLD), Incident Commander Type 4 (ICT4), any support unit leader, or Supervisory Dispatcher.
Successful completion of L-180, Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service.
Satisfactory completion of pre-course work.

Course Level
Regional, state, or area