The Introduction to Prescribed Fire in the Grassland Environment course, offered in partnership with the Canadian Prairies Prescribed Fire Exchange (CPPFE), provides participants with the understanding of basic principles for planning, conducting, and assessing a grassland prescribed fire.

This course is open to all practitioners of prescribed fire, present or future, or those simply interested in learning more about its possible applications. Prescribed fire serves many purposes as a management tool – from conservation to maintaining rangeland health, and even public safety. As such, a wide variety of groups and demographics use it. The purpose of this course is to share awareness, and in addition to other training, ensure practitioners (crew members) in the grassland and parkland ecoregions can use fire in a safe, effective, and informed way.

This course, in combination with an in-field component, serves as the minimum training requirement for participation on a prescribed fire by many CPPFE partner agencies.

Course Information

This course provides:

  • A brief history of fire use and suppression in the North American Grassland environment
  • An understanding of basic fire behaviour principals
  • Considerations in developing fire prescriptions and prescribed fire plans
  • An understanding of roles and responsibilities of key positions within a prescribed fire crew
  • An understanding of environmental and human safety hazards on a fireline
  • The basics of communications planning
  • An understanding of site preparation, firebreaks, and the advantages and disadvantages associated with different techniques
  • An understanding of various ignition techniques and the unique fire behaviour associated with each type
  • An explanation into how the adaptive management framework informs goal setting, planning, implementation, monitoring, adapting, and reporting at all stages of a prescribed burn

Recognition of Training

Participants who successfully complete this course earn a training certificate that is accepted by member groups of the Canadian Prairies Prescribed Fire Exchange (CPPFE). Partnering groups may require additional qualifications and/or a fitness requirement to participate in their prescribed fires. This course is only applicable to prescribed fire operations in grassland fuel types. In order for an individual to be trained as a wildland firefighter or to conduct prescribed fires in other fuel types, they must successfully complete an approved Basic Wildland Firefighter course.

Member Groups of the CPPFE as of January 2022 include:
  • Meewasin Valley Authority
  • Saskatchewan Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport
  • College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan
  • Canadian Wildlife Service - Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • Association of Manitoba Community Pastures
  • City of Saskatoon, Naturalized Parks Program


Cost: $150 + tax

This course is delivered online and open for registration year round. It is entirely asynchronous and self-paced, meaning students can complete it on their own schedules. Expect approximately 15 hours of independent, online study to complete this course. Once registered, students have 30 days to complete the course. Students will receive login access and course information within 1-5 business days of registration and may begin the course once they have received login access.

100% of the course grade is based upon an online Final Exam. Students will need to achieve a minimum grade of 80% on this exam to pass the course and receive a certificate of completion.

Please direct questions to Vanessa Young at