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A Portuguese firefighter fighting a wildfire. Photo by Bombeiros.pt
13 Jan 2021

Learn from international instructors how fire investigation methods can apply to wildfires

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Expressions of Interest: Wildfire Investigation Training Course.

Tentative date: September 2021

The purpose of this message is to seek ‘Expressions of Interest’ from Fire/Police Investigators and other Specialists from across Europe who would be interested in attending and gaining this skill.

Understandably, arranging this Course will be subject to Covid-19 advice restrictions, so at this time we are just seeking to see the level of interest before committing to a planning process. Should we be in a position to go ahead, we hope to hold it in early September 2021.

The course will be held on a military base in The Netherlands over 5 days.

Please download the official letter of invitation to get contact info for further inquiries and to enroll.


Dear Fire/Police Investigators,

We are all well aware of the increasing Wildfire risk in Europe, and in recent years, the serious consequences of unplanned Wildfires and the need for them to be prevented.

More often, our agencies are being called on to accurately determine the cause of these fires. Importantly, communities expect those responsible are held accountable for these fires.

In the Netherlands, we have already taken steps to improve at a National level, the skills needed in successful Wildfire Investigation. Since 2011, The Netherlands Police and Fire Departments have hosted three National Wildfire Co-ordinating Group (NWCG) ‘FI210 Wildland Fire Origin and Cause Determination Courses’.

Instructors from Australia and America have facilitated this training, being long term representatives on the (NWCG) Working Team on Wildfire Investigation, delivered this internationally recognized qualification involving theory and practical instruction. These three wildfire investigation experts (two from the USA and one from Australia) actually co-wrote this Course being former career Wildfire Investigators. The outcome here has seen attendees become proficient in the methodology in determining the origin and cause of Wildfires. Trainees were a mix of Police and Fire Service Investigators. The last Course also saw a small group of international attendees who also found the training highly valuable.

The course provides instruction on a range of topics around the investigation of Wildfires including:


● Wildfire Investigation Methodology;

● Recognized Causes of Wildfires;

● Fire Scene Evidence;

● Wildfire Arson;

● Interpretation of Fire Pattern Indicators to determine the origin of a Wildfire.


The theory sessions are supplemented with significant field-based (live fire) scene examination exercises, with all sessions and materials delivered in English. After the success of these past Courses, we are looking to host an additional Course to supplement our Team numbers in The Netherlands, and are keen to open it to other participants from across Europe.

As part of this proposal, we also want to give others outside the Police and Fire Agencies, such as Researchers, Parks Management Officers, Ecologists, and the like, an opportunity to also learn about this specialist skill.

NWCG facilitators will again deliver this Course with the assistance of trained Netherlands Fire Investigators.