Careers in Wildland Fire

Las Conchas Fire NM 6/29/11

Real Jobs, Real Impact

Challenge yourself to new limits, join the Forest Service men and women who serve to protect millions of acres within our national forests, our communities, and our natural resources. 

A picture of a large wildfire burning up a tree stand on a mountain.

The Forest Service and other federal, tribal, state, and local government agencies work together to respond to tens of thousands of wildfires annually. Each year, an average of more than 73,000 wildfires burn about 7 million acres of federal, tribal, state, and private land and more than 2,600 structures.

Laura Spellman, Redding, California, Hot Shot firefighter, uses a drip torch to burn lower vegetation to contain the oncoming fire in Mendocino National Forest, California. (Forest Service photo by Cecilio Ricardo)

We're Hiring Apprentices!

Join a workforce that makes a difference! Apply today and become a wildland firefighter apprentice! Accepting applications August 1-28. 

What to Expect

Wildland firefighters may be required to work long hours in challenging and changing conditions, such as high temperatures and steep terrain. A career in wildland fire has many rewards, including the opportunity to work in some of the most beautiful places in the country and create friendships that last a lifetime.

Challenge yourself to new limits, join the Forest Service men and women who serve to protect millions of acres within our national forests, our communities, and our natural resources. 

Interested applicants are reminded to review the application deadlines noted in the announcement. Employment start dates will vary.

 

Get Inspired!

Watch our wildland fire videos and get inspired to make a difference.

Get Fired Up

 

Apply Today!

Explore available Forest Service wildland firefighting jobs and apply today. 

 

Job Opportunities

The Forest Service employs approximately 10,000 wildland firefighters. Positions range from entry-level firefighter to senior fire management positions.

  • Wildland Firefighters – are involved with wildland fire suppression/ management/control working on an engine, helitack module, or hand crew with responsibility for the operation and maintenance of specialized tools or equipment. Other wildland fire related duties may involve fire prevention, patrol, detection, or prescribed burning.
  • Helitack crews - These firefighters are transported by helicopters to wildfires and may land near them or, if equipped and trained, may rappel from a hovering helicopter.
  • HotshotHandcrew – Utilizes a variety of specialized tools, equipment, and techniques to actively suppress wildfires.
  • Fire Suppression – Performs assignments to develop knowledge of fuels management and fire suppression techniques and practices such as fire line construction, use of pumps and engines, hose lays, foam and retardant, working around aircraft, safety rules, and fire and fuels terminology.
  • Engine crew – Drives engine to fire locations, frequently over unimproved roads and positions engine in appropriate locations in consideration of the safety of crew and equipment and how the equipment can best be used in control and mop-up operations.
  • Smokejumpers - These highly trained, experienced firefighters parachute from airplanes to provide quick initial attack on wildland fires in remote areas.
  • Fuel management – responsible for gathering data on fuel types, weather conditions, fire behaviors, and informing visitors of fire hazards and prevention regulations.
  • Explore the many opportunities today!

Start your career as a Wildland Firefighter Apprentice

Cedar City Hotshot Pioneer Fire, Idaho 07/23/2016 Forest Service Photo

First Creek Fire, WA Chelan Fires of 2015 08/14/2015 Silver City Hotshot. Forest Service Photo


Wildland Firefighter Apprentice Program

The Big Hill Helitack crew brushing roads on a fire. Santa Cruz Mountains, Loma Fire, photo credit USDA Forest Service

Start your career as a wildland firefighter apprentice. Learn more about the program and apply August-October. 

Apprentice Program


Helpful Information

  • Frequently Asked Questions about becoming a Forest Service wildland firefighter.
  • Remember to attach all required documentation to be considered for the position(s). 
  • Apply for a Forest Service Job – has helpful information to help you through the application process.
  • Interagency Fire Program Management Standard (IFPM) is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Interior wildland bureaus to establish minimum qualification standards for key positions in Fire and Aviation Management (FAM). In addtion, the U.S. Forest Service implemented an agency addendum to IFPM called the Forest Service Fire Program Management Standard (FS-FPM). 

Apply Today!

Explore available Forest Service wildland firefighting jobs and apply today on USAJOBS. Remember to attach all required documentation to be considered for the position(s). Apply for a Forest Service Job – has helpful information to help you through the application process.


Get Inspired!

Watch our wildland fire videos and get inspired to make a difference.

Get Fired Up

 

 

The USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.