Candidates must be highly motivated individuals in top physical condition and capable of performing arduous duties. Any physical defect sufficient to impair efficiency or endanger fellow workers will disqualify the applicant. Individuals interested in becoming smokejumper candidates must meet the qualifications listed below.
Experience for a GS-5:
One year of experience that provided the applicant with skill in the use of hand tools, familiarity with safe work procedures and practices related to forestry and other fields such as range management, farming, ranching, fire control work, soil and water conservation activities, and knowledge of basic first aid procedures. The year of experience must have included at least one season* of specialized wildland fire suppression work.
Wildland fire suppression experience is work as a member of an organized fire suppression crew or comparable unit, in forest and range fire suppression work under mountainous terrain and fuel conditions such as those found in the Western United States. This work must have included training in forest or range fire suppression methods and techniques, fire behavior, use of firefighting tools and equipment, and in safety and first aid practices common to firefighting work.
Successful completion of 4 years of study leading to a bachelor’s degree in a related field, plus at least one season* of wildland fire suppression work, as defined below.
Experience for a GS-6:
One year of experience that provided the applicant with skill in the use of hand tools, familiarity with safe work procedures and practices related to forestry and other fields (such as range management, farming, ranching, fire control work, soil and water conservation activities), and knowledge of basic first aid procedures. The year of experience must have included at least one season* of wildland fire suppression work. One season of smokejumping fire suppression work at the GS-5 grade level is also required.
*A season is at least 3 months of continuous employment on a seasonal basis.
Note: Entry level smokejumper positions are not entry-level firefighting positions.
All smokejumper applicants must have demonstrated skills for the effective application of fire suppression tactics using diverse resources including hand tools, chainsaws for felling and bucking trees up to twenty-four inches in diameter (24” DBH), and experience operating portable pumps using hoselay methods needed for effective operation in the wildland fire environment.
If you lack this required fire experience, you may want to consider applying for a position on an Interagency Hotshot Crew, or district helicopter or engine crew. These crews receive valuable training and experience in fire suppression work. There are numerous crews located throughout the United States with the majority being in the West. For specific information, contact your local Job Service, Forest Service or BLM office. You can also check out these websites: