In aviation, firefighters deliver equipment and supplies
to firefighters in remote locations. They deploy smokejumpers
and rappellers on fires and provide
reconnaissance of new fires and fire behavior. They also drop fire retardant
or water to slow down a fire so firefighters on the ground can contain
it. Aviation jobs in the Forest Service include:
- Pilots fly planes, airtankers, and helicopters.
- Helitack crews are flown in helicopters to remote locations. Some
helitack crews are also trained to rappel from the helicopter to the
fire. Click here to read more about helitack crews.
- Smokejumpers parachute from planes to remote wildfires. Click here
to read more about smokejumpers.
- Helibase managers direct helicopter operations at established bases.
- Aviation dispatchers process orders for aircraft. Dispatchers send
the aircraft to the requesting unit and monitor the safe flight of firefighting
aircraft across the country.
- Air Tactical Supervisors provide “eyes in the sky” and
coordinate the use of aircraft on a wildfire. Air Tactical Supervisors
provide safety oversight and relay fire location and fire behavior information
to fireline supervisors on the ground.