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Photo credit: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

Associate of Applied Science Degree

(575) 527-7746 or 528-7321

Fire investigations is a complex career field that involves multiple disciplines, including the criminal justice system. Fire investigators must be analytical, as well as knowledgeable in criminal investigations, the rule of law, and arrest, search and seizure. They usually rely on scientific principles and research in an analysis of fire remains to determine the cause and origin of the fire. Investigators work to determine whether the fire was deliberately set and what contributed to its subsequent growth. These findings can become an integral part of a criminal investigation that may require legal action to be taken against the responsible party.

Fire investigation findings can also be used in the evaluation of existing fire codes and development of legislation to prevent and reduce the loss of life and property due to fire. The fire investigations program provides the fire student with a basic foundation in fire science and law enforcement to actively seek a career in the field of fire investigations.

In order to receive credit toward the associate degree, a student must earn a grade of C or better in all classes.

NOTE: All courses in this program may be applied toward a Bachelor of Applied Studies or Bachelor of Individualized Studies degree at NMSU. This program does not certify the student as a fire investigator, but promotes professional development to help reduce the loss of life and property from fire. Students seeking fire investigator certification should consult the various professional associations granting certification.

Required Skills and Abilities

This program requires that the student be able to—

  • lift, carry and balance up to 125 pounds (250 pounds with assistance)
  • assume a variety of postural positions and be capable of physical maneuvers ranging from crawling, kneeling, squatting, twisting, turning, and bending, to climbing stairs and ladders
  • withstand varied environmental conditions such as extreme heat, cold, and moisture

Medical/Accidental Injury Insurance Notice:

DACC does not provide medical insurance for students. DACC students are encouraged to obtain their own medical insurance for any illness, accident or injury that might occur during the span of this course. Visit to shop for, compare costs and coverage benefits, and enroll in insurance coverage.

Technology Competencies

In an effort to assist students with adequate preparation for their coursework at DACC, technology competencies have been identified and established. These competencies are in effect for all courses taken in the Fire Investigations program. Students must possess the following minimum competencies. Additional competencies may be required for particular courses/programs:

  • Access course and program material on the Web using a web browser
  • Correspond with DACC students and faculty using e-mail and the Web
  • Read/print e-mail and attachments/files from students and faculty
  • Complete, send, and receive assignments using e-mail and attachments/files
  • Use the DACC Library e-books, e-journals, databases, or credible World Wide Web resources for research and completion of course assignments
  • Prepare and conduct presentations in the classroom using presentation equipment as required
  • Use the appropriate software for a given course (DACC uses as standards Microsoft products, including MS Word, MS Project, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint)
  • Use CD-ROMs when required as part of course assignments
  • Use an appropriate anti-virus application to insure the files transmitted and received are virus free
  • Use recommended plagiarism review software to insure work is not plagiarized