How to become a Firefly Ranger

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***This page is no longer linked from other pages, all material has been moved to Get Involved - 2017****

This page is for NEW Firefly Rangers.

If you are an experienced Ranger from another burn joining us, please see the section below on Experienced Rangers from other Burns.

New "Alpha" Rangers

As a new ranger, you are considered an “alpha” until the end of your first (“alpha”) shift. Below are the steps from Firefly participant to alpha to Firefly Ranger.

Live Life

Have you been living your life? Have you been paying a small amount of attention along the way? Have you ever been willing to assist other people? Are you willing to be part of a team that is identifiably helpful? Are you unlike anyone else on the planet, with your own experiences and your own perspectives that make you, you? Have you been to Firefly before?

Great! Then you just might be a good fit for the Firefly Rangers.

Be a Firefly

We want all our Rangers to be Fireflies first. The only (very rare) exception might be for long-standing members of another Burner Community who have significant prior experience rangering other burns. Generally speaking, we want Ranger membership to come from within the event itself, this helps to ensure that Rangers "get it" just like any other group of participants.

Choose a Ranger Handle

If you don’t already have a Ranger Handle, you will need one to be a Ranger! A Ranger Handle is a unique, radio-friendly name that has some personal meaning to you. Most are two to three syllables. Please do not use your legal name.

If you would like to change your Ranger handle, please contact the Personnel Team

Fill out the Annual Ranger Survey

Each year, we need to collect information about a lot of Rangers. Please fill out this form so that we can keep in touch!

2017 Survey

Take Your (Annual) Ranger Training

All Rangers train every year—from the shiniest pennies to the muddiest vet. Why is this? It's so that as a group, we can draw from a common set of values and expectations on how we do what we do and then do it well. Procedures may change from year to year, sure - but procedures are just a small piece of training compared to all the learning, growing, and skill development it takes as we re-commit ourselves anew each year to serving the Community from a shared perspective.

Trainings are typically offered several times a year. Any seven-hour BRC (Black Rock City) Ranger training will qualify you as having been fully trained for the Firefly Rangers. There will also be several four-hour Firefly Ranger trainings offered in May and June on at least one weekday evening and one weekend.

Please look on the Firefly website, or keep an eye out on Community mailing lists for sign-up announcements & annual training dates.

If you cannot attend one of these pre-event trainings, please contact

BRC trainings:

See the Training Overview

Sign up for your shifts

After the successful completion of your first Ranger training, you will be asked to sign up for an "Alpha" shift. After your this first shift, you can sign up as a dirt ranger.

See Shift sign-up, At-Event Ranger Roles

Walk An Alpha Shift

Your "alpha" shift is simply a shift walked with a more experienced Ranger (“mentor”) or two (Khaki may ask you to switch partners during your Alpha shift), during which you will wear a khaki-colored t-shirt, carry a radio, and do your best at balancing a funny combo: knowing when to stay out of the way of everyone else's burn and how to be available to help others upon request.

Consult With Mentor and Khaki

After you walk your Alpha shift, the mentors you walked with will meet in conjunction with Khaki (the shift lead) for a brief meeting and then again with you. This is where you will decide as a group if the Firefly Rangers are a good match for you. If so, then congratulations! You are now a Firefly Ranger!

Most folks pass, though it's not guaranteed. Alternatively, if anyone in the discussion (including you) decides it's just not your year to become a Ranger, you've just been "bonked". That's okay too. We thank you for your service. We really respect you for taking time to volunteer. Please try again next year and go have a great Firefly.

Decide Jointly If You Are A Good Fit For The Firefly Rangers

If everyone in the group agrees, and you choose to become a Firefly Ranger, you will soon get to wear a khaki-colored costu-form and carry a radio while on shift. If you haven't learned this already, learn right now that Rangers have absolutely no authority except that which individual participants choose to give us at any given time, that social capital is our most valuable resource we as Rangers share, that our diversity is our strength, and that humility is wisdom. Now - go be awesome!


You can now work as a Dirt Ranger! After this Firefly is over, you can join one of our Teams. During your second year as a Ranger, you can become an Echelon Ranger, or a mentor, and in your third year you can be a Khaki-in-training (KIT). (If you are really enthusiastic about about any of these roles earlier than usual, contact

Experienced Rangers Joining us from other Burns

We are always happy to have rangers joining us from other burns. Depending on your level of experience, you may be eligible for exceptions to training requirements. Please contact for more information.

Please be aware that there are some differences between Firefly and other burns, particularly Burning man.

  • We are a much smaller event (about 1000 participants), and as such everything is smaller.
  • Our ranger council is much smaller and hands-on that the BRC Ranger council
  • Echelon at Firefly is stationary at HQ. See Echelon description.
  • We do NOT have law enforcement, EMT, or Firefighters on site at all times.
  • We use ICS for emergencies. See ICS section.
  • We have a different Early Arrival process, as well as Exodus. If you have questions, please email
Continue on to the next page: At-Event Ranger Roles