Protectors of the Forest - #18 of 21

HOW TO BECOME A WILDLAND FIREFIGHTER

Most starting wildland firefighter positions are temporary seasonal positions - four to six months of work per year. A great gig for college students available in the summer and other folks with part-time commitments.

Positions with the U.S. Forest Service generally accept applications between October and November, with applicants hired in January or February. Application periods can be short, so check with your district office to be sure.

To apply, contact the district office where you’d like to work and ask about available positions, job numbers (they’re specific for each position) and deadlines. Then visit USAJOBS.GOV, search the keyword, “Wildland Fire,” and follow the steps to fill out an application. Then, start training!

To prepare, emphasize hiking with a backpack, running and calisthenics. Every national forest and individual crew has specific physical requirements for their employees - some will be tougher than others. If you land a job, contact your future supervisor to ask about fitness requirements. Often, there are minimum requirements for push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and the 1.5 mile run.

STORY: SAM AVERETT
PHOTOGRAPHY: KARI GREER & KYLE MILLER

Publish Date
July 19, 2019

Smokey
Bear

75 Years of Vigilance

Celebrate this momentous anniversary with limited-edition Smokey gear.

SHOP THE COLLECTION

Help Protect the Forests

Donate to the NFF

Learn about Wildland Firefighting

Learn More