Would you make a good firefighter? Do you know someone who would? The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking for courageous, motivated men and women to join us in our efforts of protecting 13 million acres of Washington lands from wildfire this upcoming summer.
What’s new this year?
DNR has 30 new full-time positions for qualified wildland firefighter leaders interested in forest restoration and wildfire preparedness and prevention work in the off-season, along with fighting wildfire in the summer. When it isn’t wildfire season, duties will include the application of prescribed fire (a controlled burn conducted to restore forests) and wildfire risk assessments for communities and people’s homes. Positions are available at DNR regions across the state and pay up to $53,904 a year.
Applications for the full-time positions are due Dec. 1.
For these permanent Wildland Fire and Forest Health Specialist positions, DNR is seeking job candidates who have:
- Fully qualified to be a single resource boss, such as a heavy equipment boss, firing boss, crew boss, helicopter crew boss, felling boss or engine boss
- Experience supervising or leading wildland firefighting personnel
- Knowledge of burn permit and fire regulations, smoke management, fire prevention programs, fire investigation and fire suppression
- Can meet the arduous level physical fitness standard: walking 3 miles in 45 minutes while carrying a 45 pound pack
- The ability to work with the public, sometimes under stressful situations
- A high school diploma or equivalent
- A valid driver’s license, 3 years driving experience, and a driving record free of serious traffic violations
No experience required: seasonal positions
The work of seasonal wildland firefighters is strenuous, yet rewarding. DNR provides the training, safety clothing and protective gear. You must bring enthusiasm and the ability to perform strenuous outdoor work safely and productively. You must also be willing to accept direction and act responsibly.
Though important, seasonal firefighting jobs are temporary. You can generally expect to work three to four months beginning mid-June and ending in mid-September. However, the experience and training that you take with you can form the foundation for a successful lifelong career in forestry and other natural resource professions.
The application process for seasonal wildfire positions close in the spring.
- 18 years old when hired (typically mid-June)
- Have a high school diploma or GEDwhen hired (typically mid-June)
- Have a valid driver’s license, 2 years of driving experience and an acceptable driving record with no serious traffic violations. We cannot accept the following:
- License suspension/revocation due to reckless driving, hit and run, leaving an accident scene, failure to appear, DUI or other vehicle-related felony
- More than 3 moving violations in the past 12 months
- More than 4 moving violations in the past 24 months
- Able to operate a manual transmission
- Able to buy regulation boots for $250 – $350 (reimbursed up to $350 with a receipt after purchase)
When you apply for a seasonal position, your application cannot be edited after it is sent, and you can only apply once a year. Therefore, it is important to meet all of the requirements before applying.
The application that you fill out on careers.wa.gov will ask questions on basic information, education, past work history, references and include a simple questionnaire.
Be sure to identify the specific regions you are willing to work out of and apply for all that are appropriate for you: Northeast, Northwest, Olympic, South Puget Sound, Pacific Cascade, and/or Southeast. The more flexible you are, the more likely you are to be successful. For tips on preparing for an interview, check out http://careers.wa.gov/onlineresources.html.
To apply for one of the permanent, full-time positions, visit careers.wa.gov and search for the term “Wildland Fire and Forest Health Specialist.”
Learn more about DNR’s Wildfire Division here.