50 Fantastic Fire Science Resources

Every 23 seconds a fire erupts in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association, and, in 2011 alone, there were over 1.3 million fires that required fire department intervention. Not only are firefighters brave, they are also very busy!

Firefighters often begin their careers by volunteering at local firehouses, joining the junior firefighter league or undergoing training through municipal fire companies. They might also choose to pursue a program in fire science, a path that could end with an associate or bachelor’s degree. The following resources are meant to help aspiring firefighters understand what the job requires, plan for the education and training they will undergo and keep abreast of the field with the latest research, publications and blogs from firefighters who are in the line of duty every day.


1. National Park Service Fire and Aviation Management

Website link

This division of the NPS focuses on both structural and wildland fires, safety measures, research on wildland rebound from fire, potential careers in the field, training and higher education, as well as professional resources for those who work in the fire science field.

2. Fire Protection Careers in California

Website link

These jobs available in California can serve as excellent “FYI” information on potential job offerings that might be found all over the country. While there, delve into the other links, which include seasonal jobs for firefighters.

3. Land Change Science Program

Website link

This program of the U.S. Geological Survey focuses on the changing forces of wildfire, including the risks for certain areas, the threat to residents in woodland areas, vulnerability of forests and strategic plans to protect and preserve land area in the face of wildfire. This is a must-read resource for those who hope to make a career of wildland firefighting.

4. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

Website link

A comprehensive resource for information on all types of careers, the page on firefighters offers up-to-date salary and job outlook information, what to expect from employment and educational requirements.

5. National Institute of Standards and Technology

Website link

“Better firefighting through research” is the motto of this site, which focuses on the best technology, apparatus, procedures, safety standards and the like for keeping firefighters safe and healthy in the line of duty. Information on firefighting tactics, protection, injuries, forensics and more can be found here.

6. U.S. Fire Administration

Website link

Loaded with information on everything from the best schools for firefighters to what to do when confronted with a raging wildfire, this resource has enough information to keep you reading for days. Order publications, find the latest statistics and brush up on fire science knowledge here.

7. National Preparedness Directorate

Website link

This national training and education program offered by FEMA is a great benefit to first responders. Browse through the available offerings and training centers to find the one that best suits your training goals.

8. Learning Resource Center

Website link

This comprehensive site from FEMA offers a great deal of information on becoming a firefighter, including exam preparation, finding a job, education and training, related careers, history of prominent fires and more.

9. Washington State Patrol Basic Firefighter Program

Website link

This site from the Washington State Fire Marshal details the training required for firefighters in the state, providing a great overview of what might be expected from those who enter the basic firefighter training program in cities across the country.

10. Homeland Security: Emergency Services Sector

Website link

This overview of the emergency services sector, including fire services, gives a good explanation of how fire services fits into the homeland security infrastructure. Deeper reading on the specific plan for emergency services can help aspiring firefighters understand where they fit into the grand overview of nationwide security.

11. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Website link

This information on fire services jobs from the Northeast Fire Program gives a good overview of what fire service program graduates can expect from their future career, as well as links to educational tools and other pertinent information.

12. State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

Website link

The Commission on Fire Prevention and Control in the state of Connecticut offers a great example of the various courses firefighters can take in order to move into higher-ranked positions, specialized firefighting or government agencies like homeland security. Just visit the “training and education” link.

13. FDNY: Fire and Emergency Services Exploring Program

Website link

This exploration program for those aged 14 through 20 is an excellent way to determine whether a career in fire sciences is right for you. This early career education will expose students to a wide variety of situations involving fire safety and emergencies. Those who don’t live in the New York City area can look to their local and state fire departments for information on similar programs.

14. Fire Service and Code Enforcement Academy

Website link

This site filled with information on the TN academy offers interesting information for those who want to move into a fire services career or enhance the one they have already started. Much of the information found here can help those in other states as well.

15. New Hampshire Department of Safety

Website link

This fun, straightforward information on becoming a firefighter tells you exactly what is necessary to enter the profession. Though the site focuses on firefighting in New Hampshire, the information is pertinent to many firehouses throughout the nation.

16. San Diego Fire-Rescue Department

Website link

This clear and concise information on firefighting in San Diego can give aspiring firefighters a good look at what to expect from firefighting positions.

17. Mesa Fire Department

Website link

This well-structured PDF from the Mesa, Arizona Fire Department focuses on what you need to know to enter fire services. Though some of the information focuses on the department in Mesa, much of it can be used as a good indication of what might be required in other states.

18. Alaska Fire Science Consortium

Website link

One of the goals of the consortium is to provide an organized, centralized area for emerging information on fire science. To that end, this site offers a comprehensive library, information on new tools and products, fire history, maps, current events and more.

19. U.S. Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management

Website link

The forestry research found here includes information on fire ecology, wildland ecosystems, fire behavior and other points of fire science. Explore the site for information on training, careers, publications and similar help for aspiring firefighters or fire scientists.

20. Rocky Mountain Research Station

Website link

From a research station in the heart of wildfire country, this site offers excellent research on fire activity, tools, safety, management and more.

21. National Fire Protection Association

Website link

The codes set forth by the NFPA help provide safe structures, electrical wiring and fire protections. Sections on training and careers are included here, as well as current events, news, publications, codes and standards, prevention and results of new studies and research.

22. Journal of Fire Sciences

Website link

A must-read for anyone interested in the science behind the fire, this comprehensive and informative journal has been published six times per year since 1983. Each issue is now available online for viewing.

23. O*Net Online: Firefighters

Website link

This comprehensive site breaks down salary, job outlook and career information for a variety of firefighting specialties, including municipal firefighters, supervisors, investigators, fire technicians and more. Peripheral career information is also included, such as that of first responders, foresters and fire prevention managers.

24. International Association of Fire Fighters

Website link

Firefighters around the globe can learn from each other on policy and procedure issues. This site focuses on the firefighting profession from an international standpoint, including political issues, health concerns, legislation, education and training.

25. Firehouse

Website link

The online home of Firehouse Magazine, this site keeps you up-to-date on training, new apparatus, current events, safety issues, departments and more. Information on jobs and career opportunities can also be found on this comprehensive resource.

26. National Volunteer Fire Council

Website link

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, of the nation’s approximately 1.1 million fire men and women, 69% are volunteer firefighters. NVFC.org offers resources for education, training, scholarships, current events, programs and more for volunteer firefighters and other first responders.

27. International Association of Fire Chiefs

Website link

Want to run the firehouse? This well-appointed website dedicated to fire chiefs focuses on everything from education and training to administration resources and government relations. Not only do you learn about the job itself, you can learn about the little details that go into the day-to-day life of a fire chief.

28. International Association of Arson Investigators

Website link

What do arson investigators do? What does it take to become one? Aspiring fire science students can learn more about what arson investigators do, the training required and more at this comprehensive website dedicated to finding out what really happened when that fire started.

29. Fire Service Today

Website link

Hosted by the National Fire Protection Association, this very active blog offers overviews of new studies and current events. Visit this site for surveys, information on emerging procedures and apparatus, first responder information, research and updates on codes and standards across the nation.

30. Institution of Fire Engineers

Website link

This international organization has a wealth of information on fire science. Find information on careers, first-hand accounts of those who have made a career in fire engineering, training programs and more.

31. My Firefighter Nation

Website link

A social network for firefighters, this site offers forums, focused groups, blogs, job listings and discussions, photos and videos, as well as training information and links to find even more resources.

32. Interfire Online

Website link

Fire investigations, arson, insurance, law enforcement, safety and training – it’s all here on this site for fire investigators. The resources center on the site can give you a great overview of fire investigation, and that can help you decide if it’s a career right for you.

33. Tall Timbers Research Station

Website link

The Fire Ecology Program at Tall Timbers brings together research from various sources and provides publications that educate researchers, professionals and the public. Browse the research topics, explore options for internships and more.

34. Fire Emergency Training Network

Website link

This site offers a wide variety of training plans, educational resources and more for aspiring firefighters. If you’re not sure what kind of courses and training you might encounter in fire science courses, this website will give you a good overview.

35. Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

Website link

This site is dedicated to finding the lessons in fire incidents, including how to solve the problems, reviewing safety procedures, and sharing tools on fire vigilance.

36. National Center for Forensic Science

Website link

After the fire, those who study the forensics of flames work backward through the evidence to determine what really happened. This research center hosted by the University of Central Florida offers databases, helpful links, training information and more.

37. Fire, Fuel and Smoke Science Program

Website link

Located in Missoula, Montana, the FFS program focuses on improving the safety and effectiveness of fire management. Learn about wildland fire research, study maps, order publications and keep up with the latest news on fire science.

38. Fire Corps

Website link

Those who aren’t yet old enough to engage in fire science training or courses can jump into the fire corps, an organization that offers support to the local EMS and firefighting teams. This inside view of the job of firefighting can serve you in good stead when you move from behind the scenes to the front lines.

39. Fire Research and Management Exchange System

Website link

This research site offers a wide variety of topics on fire and fire management, as well as information on the various regions, resources and training materials. The site also offers regularly updated announcements, including job listings.

40. International Association of Wildland Fire

Website link

This independent association focuses on many points of wildland fires, including safety of those who fight the spread of the flames. This site can give you a good grasp of fire management and how it pertains to wildland fires.

41. The Fire Critic

Website link

Understanding the world of fire services is easier when you hear stories from someone on the front lines. This “unadulterated view of fire services” is a blog dedicated to giving the truth about the way the world works in the firehouse.

42. Iron Firemen

Website link

This honest blog focuses on the challenges firefighters face, the good times they have together when they aren’t fighting fires and product reviews, among other points. A must-read for anyone who wonders about the realities of life in the firehouse and beyond.

43. National Association of Fire Investigators

Website link

Anything concerning fire investigation can be found here, with information available for the public, students, attorneys or insurance professionals. Membership, training, certification information and industry links are also available.

44. International Association for Fire Safety Science

Website link

The best way to fight a fire is to prevent it from starting the first place. The goal of the IAFSS is to prevent fires, and if they have to be fought, to provide firefighters with the tools necessary to stay safe while putting out the flames. In addition, the site offers pertinent information to those just starting out, such as a sample curriculum of a fire engineering program.

45. International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services

Website link

Men aren’t the only ones who suit up when the fire call comes in. This job focuses on the rewards and challenges of firefighting for women, including health concerns, management issues, leadership, job opportunities and other important information.

46. Average Jake Firefighter Blog

Website link

An interesting blog about a wide variety of topics that pertain to fire services, Average Jake is an absorbing read. Here you will find emotional posts on the challenges, honest posts on the techniques and a wealth of other information that can help prepare you for realities of the fire service career.

47. Association for Fire Ecology

Website link

How does fire affect the land? More importantly, how is fire beneficial to the land? This association focuses on the use of fire in a responsible way to result in a much more safe woodland area. The site offers access to a fire ecology journal, conferences to learn more, and memberships.

48. Northern Rockies Fire Science Network

Website link

With a hefty emphasis on fire management research and products that can be of good use to those in fire services, the NRFSN website offers access to newsletters, research, upcoming events and more. You can also join a mailing list to stay in the know.

49. The Model City Firefighter

Website link

This award-winning blog is home to numerous posts by contributors and guests, interviews with those in fire services, unbiased product reviews and inspirational stories.

50. The Fire Research Institute

Website link

This is an ultimate resource of books, journals, magazines, articles, news reports, training materials and more on the subject of wildland fires. Sign up for the free monthly newsletter that details the new articles and publications recently archived.