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State Fire Marshal

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

For Intervention Specialists

General Information

Creating and maintaining a successful youth firesetting prevention and intervention program requires continuous learning. Regardless of your expertise level, there is always opportunity to increase understanding and implement new strategies.

Changing a youth’s firesetting behavior requires a multi-disciplinary approach. While the fire service is the leader in fire prevention education programs, youth firesetting prevention and intervention requires a team of experts. A successful program requires a network of these stakeholders to advocate for youth.



More training for specialists is always available. Learn more in the training section of our website. 

This online presentation will help you start building your youth fire intervention program.

If you have an idea for a training session or conference at which Youth Firesetting Prevention and Intervention information would be appropriate, call 651-201-7220. Get the latest information on youth firesetting prevention and intervention in Minnesota by signing up for the YFPI e-newsletter. Contact Kathi Osmonson to get on the list.

Help is Available

Crisis contact information

Does you know a child who needs immediate mental health resources? The Minnesota Department of Human Services has crisis contact information online.

Other help

If you need assistance with a child suffering from mental health disorders or would like to find an appropriate therapist for them, email our mental health consultant Jerrod Brown or call 651-734-5517  


These forms are available to help you manage YFPI cases. 

When you first meet with the family, have the caretaker sign the release form that protects the child as a juvenile. The form also advises the parent that we do not guarantee that going through the program will stop the child’s behavior.

The intake form should be filled out at your first encounter with the family.

When the interview is completed you can give the child a pre-test. There are three different levels of tests:

If the child is younger, you may want to have them sign the promise certificate.

If you need to contact other serine providers for the child then have the guardian sign the release of confidential information.

After the assessment you can use this form to help determine your intervention strategy.

It is a good idea to write your narrative summary using this form ​soon after the assessment.

Please document your interventions in YFIRES. If you need assistance, contact Kathi.

Follow-up is critical in evaluating the effectiveness of our programs. Here is the follow-up questionnaire.

Teams and Data Photo of YFIRES logo.

YFIRES National Database

Collecting data regarding the extent of our national youth firesetting problem has been difficult. But now a free program -- the Youth Fire Intervention Repository and Evaluation System (YFIRES) -- lets you add specific and relevant information on all case management aspects of youth you are working with. 

Participation in this program is essential to accurately gather real data to reveal the full extent of our national youth firesetting problem. You can learn more at To participate in this program, please email Kathi Osmonson and she can set you up as a program user.

The data collected by the YFIRES program to date can be found here.​ For a breakdown of 2016 and 2017 only, click here​. ​

Youth Firesetting Intervention Teams (YFIT)

This program is supported by the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association and is similar to their Fire Assistance and Support Team (FAST) initiative. 

You can find the YFIT protocol here

The Youth Fire Intervention Team is ready to help -- all you need to do is call the duty officer to activate the team. This ​map​ shows the team coordinators in your area. If you are interested in joining this important team, please contact Kathi Osmonson

Online Education and Information


Several articles are available from SOS Fires -- a non-profit organization which develops and supports a wide range of intervention, communication, and training for service providers of fire involved youth -- about youth-set fires.

Articles and Newsletters

Articles by Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division staff and other experts as well as our Youth Firesetting Prevention and Intervention newsletter are available here.

This article​ will help you understand the relationship between youth firesetting and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

ToolkitsPhoto of cover of Wise Up workbook

Wise Up -- The Choice is Yours
This is a great intervention tool to use with older firesetters. Topics include fire science, consequences of firesetting, burn prevention and escape planning. Kids ages 12-17 will enjoy learning with this tool. If you would like copies, please email Kathi Osmonson

The Minnesota Model DVD
The latest version of the Minnesota Model DVD is available.
This is a comprehensive collection of administrative forms, assessment tools to start off each intervention, curricula for younger kids, and a Powerpoint with embedded videos for the older kids. The model also includes intervention activities to keep your interventions interactive and effective. Please make sure you have the latest version by emailing Kathi Osmonson.

Michigan Toolkit
This firesetting intervention toolkit is made available from the Michigan Trauma Burn Center.


This two-hour free webinar presented by Jerrod Brown discusses youth firesetting clinical and forensic considerations.


For more activities and ideas, go to our useful links page. You can find it in the gray box on the left side of this page.

Contact Us

You can reach our YFPI coordinator, Kathi Osmonson, at or 651-201-7220.