Wildland firefighting opportunities available
Recruiting for the 2014 wildfire season has already begun, and various state and federal agencies are looking for seasonal wildland firefighters to begin work next May.
The Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands are all seeking applicants for their summer wildland fire crews. Applications are available online and interviews will begin to be scheduled in January.
Jason Curry, Public Information Officer with the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, said most of the posted positions are for fire crews, with the majority being located in the northern part of the state.
Seasonal firefighting jobs could include opportunities such as working on a local engine unit, a helitack crew, a wildland fire crew or a Hotshot Crew. Curry stressed that the positions available are very physically demanding and all have the potential if not the guarantee of working outside.
"[The job] is demanding physically and there’s a lot of training that goes into it, but it’s very rewarding," Curry said. "You get to see a lot of different country and be involved in putting out wildfires."
Seasonal wildland fire positions usually last until August or September, Curry said, but sometimes into October, depending on the strength of the wildfire season. Almost all wildland firefighters should be aware of the potential of being called to a fire anywhere in the state or the country as well.
Curry urged that anyone interested in a wildland fire position should have a great level of commitment and desire to fight fires. The agencies also stress that wildland fire work requires the ability to work outside in uneven terrain, to camp and move around in a variety of environments and be able to carry and lift 45 pounds or more.
"It’s long hours and it’s working outside, but it’s really satisfying when you get home from the end of an assignment and you know you’ve really put in serious time and worked in an area that you care about," Curry said.
To apply for seasonal wildland firefighting jobs for the various agencies, visit the following websites: fs.fed.us/fire (U.S. Forest Service); lonepeak.utah.gov (Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands); firejobs.doi.gov (Bureau of Land Management); nps.gov/fire/wildland-fire/jobs.cfm (National Park Service).
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