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Butte Cal-TREX, Fall 2022

Prescribed Fire Training Exchange

 Chico-Cohasset-Forest Ranch, CA

What is TREX?  TREX is a festival of fire learning to build "good fire" skills.  Butte TREX is designed so both professionals and ordinary people can get better at putting good fire on the ground in and around our rural communities. Just like the Butte Prescribed Burn Association which is open to all, it's about the belief that fire is for everybody.

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Dates: Oct 7-9th, Oct 21-23rd, and on- call throughout the fall-winter burn season (November 2022 through February 2023).

Who can participate: The TREX event is for individuals interested in improving their fire knowledge and becoming better practitioners of good fire.  Beginners, non-professionals, and fire professionals are all welcome and will benefit from this training exchange.  Everyone has something to teach, and everyone has something to learn!  2022's event will be focused on local capacity building within Butte and Plumas Counties. It is free, but space is limited.  As of mid-August 2022, if you are participating in Butte TREX 2022, you should already have gotten a registration email. If you have questions, contact Dallas at or IC Eli Goodsell at

I'm a journalist. Can I come watch your prescribed fire training?  Yes!  We have 2 PIOs (public information officers) whose job is to make sure we can welcome you to our fire training safely so you get a chance to tell our story.  Space may be limited, though, so please contact our PIOs as soon as you know the dates you'll be in Butte County. Our PIOs are Gary Day,, and Hannah Hepner,  Before reaching out, please note it is unlikely you will get to see an actual prescribed fire during the training weekends. Please read the entirety of this page to get a sense for what kinds of things we cover at TREX.

I live here. Will I see smoke/fires in my community during TREX?  You will be seeing more smoke and prescribed fires in your community over the coming fall and winter, but probably not during TREX. That's because we only burn when there's a great burn window that will let us safely meet the landowner's objectives for their land. Because such burn windows are impossible to predict more than about 3 days out, we never plan in advance to put live fire on the ground during TREX.  If we got an incredible burn window during TREX, we might change our plans and get real burning done as a team... or, we might stick with our planned training because it's important too. As always, folks lighting good fire in your community will have notified the Butte County Air Quality Management District, CAL FIRE, and most likely your community Facebook page. You can also download CARB's "Smoke Spotter" app to find out where many prescribed fires are being lit.  Or, just join the Butte Prescribed Burn Association and come burn with us!

Can't make it to TREX 2022?  All is not lost! To hear about additional Butte-Plumas fire trainings throughout 2022-23, fill out this form.

To get Good Fire News so you never miss another opportunity to join a burn or training, sign up here.

I'm signed up for TREX. What do I need to do in advance? No prior experience or training is necessary. However, individuals are encouraged to complete the basic wildland firefighting NWCG courses S-130, S-190, L-180 and FEMA courses ICS-100 and IS-700. (Scroll down for details) A work capacity test and a practice shelter deployment will be offered during the event for those who need it. Some burning opportunities, including all Forest Service burns, will only be available to participants who have the training listed above  For more information, see the “Basic Wildland Firefighter Training” section below.

Description:  The Butte Cal-TREX training has two parts:

1.) Pre-fire training: over two immersive three-day weekends of fire study. (Oct 7-9th & Oct 21-23rd) These weekend trainings will focus on building a local prescribed fire crew, and will incorporate hands-on field scenarios, fireline leadership skills, local fire ecology, cultural burning and fire management.  The Fireline Refresher RT-130 will be offered on weekend 1, while NWCG Course S-219 Firing Operations will be offered weekend 2. There's also a less formal middle weekend (Oct 15-16) which will be open to all and will focus on fire ecology and cultural burning.

Training topics will include:

  • Building a prescribed fire team
  • Operational field scenarios 
  • How to assemble and care for fireline equipment like pumps, hoses, fittings and drip torches.
  • How to take weather and fuel observations
  • Indicators for when a landscape or patch of ground is ready to burn
  • Reading the landscape to tell where fire would be beneficial
  • Understanding some cultural objectives for using fire (e.g., Tribal objectives, pyrosilvicultural objectives)
  • Fire ecology and its interaction with climate science

These weekends are designed to not require live fire, but if an excellent burn window presents itself, we will take advantage of it and burn together to learn together!

2.) On-Call Prescribed Fire Crew: Participants will be on-call for prescribed fire training opportunities through February 2023.  Timing of individual burns will depend on weather windows.  Participants will assist with preparing, scouting, briefing, igniting, holding, fire effects monitoring, mop-up, and patrol on prescribed burns. The work will take place in diverse ecosystems, including on private lands and lands managed by the Plumas and Lassen National Forests.

Do I need a red card to participate? You don't need a red card to participate in the training weekends or any non-fire events. When we start getting burn windows, you do need a red card to join burns on Federal lands or on BCCER lands. But you don't need a red card to join burns on private lands.  If you don't have a red card yet and you'd like to grow your fire learning opportunities by getting one, scroll down to see options for getting your coursework done before the TREX event.

Additional Information:

• All participants must have insurance (e.g., workers’ comp or health) to cover any injury they may sustain during the training exchange.

• As was covered in your registration email, participants should come with all appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including fireline-approved boots (all leather work boots, 8-inches tall, non-slip soles, no steel toe), a new generation fire shelter, headlamp, hard hat, Nomex clothing, leather gloves, eye protection, and canteens for drinking water. If you do not have full PPE, we can arrange for you to borrow some. 

Logistics: Most or all meals will be on your own, so expect to bring your own food and water.  All participants are expected to be self-sufficient for a 72 hour period. The most up-to-date public health protocols will be adhered to. We don't know what those will be by October but they could include mask wearing, social distancing, and/or frequent hand washing/sanitization.  Participation will be limited to individuals who can agree to and implement these protocols.

Questions: Email Dallas Koller at or Eli Goodsell at




Basic Wildland Firefighter Training Options to meet NWCG standards for Firefighter Type 2 (FFT2)

(also known as “Basic 32 Classes” or “Red Card”)

-----In Person Option-----

There are occasional opportunities to get your "Basic 32" hours of training in person in our region. These are usually hosted by Big Chico Ecological Reserve, Firestorm, the U.S. Forest Service, or the Plumas Underburn Cooperative.  Sometimes there is a cost and sometimes it's free. A great way to hear about them is to join the Butte Prescribed Burn Association mailing list.


-----Self-Study Online Option (Always Free)------

  • There are five classes (S-130, S-190, L-180, IS-100, IS-700).
  • These courses will take approximately 30 hours to complete. 
  • The first three NWCG classes can be found online at  You will need to find these classes in the list and follow them to their online delivery. 
  • The IS-100 is here
  • The IS-700 here
  • The last two classes are FEMA classes, so you will be prompted to create a FEMA SID (student identification number).  You will also be asked for a DOMAIN, please select NWCG. There is nothing to it, just follow the steps and it will generate your number and send you back to the main page.
  • Once you have completed the classes and pass the quizzes, it will generate a certificate for each class. Please save these in your personal files for the rest of your career!  Documentation of your trainings is very important.  You will also be prompted to submit these certificates during the registration process for the event.

**In addition to the Basic 32 online classes, you will need a field day, a shelter deployment, and an arduous pack test.  If you attend the Cal-TREX event, we can make sure you receive this additional training. 


To Stay "Current" in your Qualification:

  • You will need to complete the RT-130 annually.  This is a 1/2 day worth of training.
  • You will need to deploy a practice shelter once a year (usually done at the RT-130).
  • You will need to take the arduous level work capacity test every year.
  • You will need to participate in a prescribed fire or wildfire within 5 years of taking the Basic wildland firefighting classes.
  • For those who have registered for TREX, a pack test and RT-130 will be offered on 10/7.