The Supervised Participant (SP) is an untrained person approved by the Burn Boss and Fire Manager to participate in Conservancy burns under the direct supervision of a Coach. The SP may be a landowner or other person interested in learning about prescribed fire, but who is not likely to pursue professional fire qualifications. Participating as an SP on a prescribed burn does not achieve a certificate of training or other formal acknowledgments of a fire qualification.
Using a Supervised Participant
The SP can only be used on burns led by the Conservancy with a TNC-approved prescribed burn plan. The TNC Fire Manager must be notified and approve the use of a Supervised Participant. The SP will be assigned by the Burn Boss to work with a qualified Coach and under the Coach’s direct supervision. The Burn Boss should assess the complexity of the burn and make assignments to support a safe learning environment.
A Coach provides instruction and supervision to no more than three (3) SPs on a burn. The Coach must be qualified as an RX Crew Member (RXCM) or higher. The Coach and SPs will receive a specific assignment from the Burn Boss the day of the prescribed burn and must be present for the pre-burn briefing.
Prescribed Burn Plans
The SP and Coach shall not count towards the minimum required personnel needed to implement the burn. The approved Prescribed Burn Plan defines the minimum number of qualified personnel needed on the burn. A Coach with SPs does not need to be listed in the plan. However, if two or more Coaches is required on a single burn, then Coaches and SPs must be listed in the Personnel section of the approved plan.
Personal Protective Equipment
SPs must adhere to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements for Conservancy fire operations (see Requirement #5).
Before prescribed fire operations begin, Coaches must instruct the SPs on the safe use of any tools or equipment they may use during the burn. SPs cannot operate chainsaws, ATVs or UTVs unless fully trained to Conservancy requirements for this equipment.
The SP must acknowledge the anticipated physical requirements of participating on the planned burn, e.g., walking, lifting or carrying tools, etc., and do a self-evaluation to determine if they are capable of participating. If the Coach or Burn Boss do not believe the SP meets the physical requirements, the SP may be assigned to other less-strenuous activities or be prohibited from participating in the burn.
Wildfires or Initial Attack Suppression
In the event of a wildfire or the need for initial attack fire suppression, SPs will not participate in suppression activities. If a Coach is required for suppression activities, their SPs will go to a safety zone and wait for further instructions. Once suppression activities are over and burn activities resume, SPs can rejoin the Coach, if the Coach and Burn Boss approve.
The SP and the Burn Boss must complete and sign the Supervised Participant Release Form [Internal TNC link]. The Burn Boss must retain SP Release Forms along with other prescribed burn documentation.
Last updated May 31, 2019.
The Nature Conservancy is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax identification number 53-0242652) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.