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Posted: 7/18/2013 11:01:03 PM EST
Hi all i was thinking of doing wildland firefighting with the forest service. I wanted to know what kind of training training and or courses are needed. It seems like you kinda have to know someone who does it too even know what kind of prerequisites are needed. any help would be appreciated
Link Posted: 7/19/2013 1:18:54 AM EST
That is quite a broad question. Do career departments exist that just do wildland firefighting?

I have done quite a bit of it in my life, as a member of a department whose AOR included plenty of areas that liked to burn year-round.

It is not for everyone, it tends to be as physically-demanding (if not, sometimes, moreso) than interior firefighting, and along with that you have a very high potential for lower body injuries from such things as falling into pits you may not see, ending up chest-deep in mud with 5 gallons of water on your back, miscalculating distances due to smoke obscurance, UXO near/on military bases, and other unique hazards and considerations. Wildfires are completely different animals, situations that can literally change in a second with no advance warning (not that interior doesn't share the same chances), you are truly at the mercy of mother nature and anything can happen that has never been covered in a textbook before.

Here's yours truly, last spring, having some fun in the (obscured) sun!! (Note: photos are not posed and I was unaware of how close the photographer was to me...media was allowed right into the thick of things due to difficult logistics at the scene)



Link Posted: 7/19/2013 4:23:05 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/20/2013 12:00:32 PM EST
Getting some of the S courses are a great way to get some experience and meet some people already working. With the Forest Circus, I mean Service.. go to some stations. Talk to the captains and firefighters, see if you can hike with them. They take apps nationwide, but the station captains have the say on who they hire. Do the same with CAL FIRE, I worked for them and loved it. With the USFS find out who they Type II crew is in your area. Its a great way to get in, won't see much intial action fires but will set you up for an engine or Hotshot crew the next season

OP what part of CA are you in? I work for a municipality but worked for CAL FIRE, my roommate worked for the USFS we can help out with anything you want. And like you said, it does help who you know and luckily we have contacts around the state
Link Posted: 7/20/2013 5:46:07 PM EST
I did it for ten years. Worked for the FS, BLM, and State.

Do you have a ranger station or other fire dept that does wildland fire close by? If so call or visit them and talk to someone who is in Fire. They will be able to give you some info on where to start locally. Most of the time crews want to hire people with a little of experience. You can usually get that from joining a vol dept who does wildland fire. Get enrolled in the basic s classes. S-130, s-190, s-212, etc. Some are even available online.

Applying for Sumer jobs can be challenging. Especially when applying out of state. The more experience and training you have the better chance you have getting picked up somewhere. Get your app in early (usually in the winter) and make sure you give the organization a call. That will show them your interested and that will make your name pop out from the list of hundreds.

If you have any more questions post them up or pm me. I'd be more than happy to help.
Link Posted: 7/20/2013 6:27:46 PM EST
A good way is to get your degree in forestry, then go to work for a state forestry agency. They'll give you all the training and you can sign up for western fire crew.

You're going to need some sort of personal contact within the community otherwise.

There will be some certs you'll need that will be tough to get outside a forestry agency.
Link Posted: 7/21/2013 11:55:46 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rk343:
Getting some of the S courses are a great way to get some experience and meet some people already working. With the Forest Circus, I mean Service.. go to some stations. Talk to the captains and firefighters, see if you can hike with them. They take apps nationwide, but the station captains have the say on who they hire. Do the same with CAL FIRE, I worked for them and loved it. With the USFS find out who they Type II crew is in your area. Its a great way to get in, won't see much intial action fires but will set you up for an engine or Hotshot crew the next season

OP what part of CA are you in? I work for a municipality but worked for CAL FIRE, my roommate worked for the USFS we can help out with anything you want. And like you said, it does help who you know and luckily we have contacts around the state
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I Live right by the san bernadino national forest in the inland empire. I was kind of hoping to move out of cali but i could work down here for a few years
Link Posted: 7/21/2013 8:10:21 PM EST
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Originally Posted By zZClintEastwoodZz:

I Live right by the san bernadino national forest in the inland empire. I was kind of hoping to move out of cali but i could work down here for a few years
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Originally Posted By zZClintEastwoodZz:
Originally Posted By rk343:
Getting some of the S courses are a great way to get some experience and meet some people already working. With the Forest Circus, I mean Service.. go to some stations. Talk to the captains and firefighters, see if you can hike with them. They take apps nationwide, but the station captains have the say on who they hire. Do the same with CAL FIRE, I worked for them and loved it. With the USFS find out who they Type II crew is in your area. Its a great way to get in, won't see much intial action fires but will set you up for an engine or Hotshot crew the next season

OP what part of CA are you in? I work for a municipality but worked for CAL FIRE, my roommate worked for the USFS we can help out with anything you want. And like you said, it does help who you know and luckily we have contacts around the state

I Live right by the san bernadino national forest in the inland empire. I was kind of hoping to move out of cali but i could work down here for a few years


I live on orange county, and used to work in riverside county. My roommate worked foro the cleveland national forest. If you have any questions feel free to hit me up!
Link Posted: 7/21/2013 8:47:04 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rk343:


I live on orange county, and used to work in riverside county. My roommate worked foro the cleveland national forest. If you have any questions feel free to hit me up!
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rk343:
Originally Posted By zZClintEastwoodZz:
Originally Posted By rk343:
Getting some of the S courses are a great way to get some experience and meet some people already working. With the Forest Circus, I mean Service.. go to some stations. Talk to the captains and firefighters, see if you can hike with them. They take apps nationwide, but the station captains have the say on who they hire. Do the same with CAL FIRE, I worked for them and loved it. With the USFS find out who they Type II crew is in your area. Its a great way to get in, won't see much intial action fires but will set you up for an engine or Hotshot crew the next season

OP what part of CA are you in? I work for a municipality but worked for CAL FIRE, my roommate worked for the USFS we can help out with anything you want. And like you said, it does help who you know and luckily we have contacts around the state

I Live right by the san bernadino national forest in the inland empire. I was kind of hoping to move out of cali but i could work down here for a few years


I live on orange county, and used to work in riverside county. My roommate worked foro the cleveland national forest. If you have any questions feel free to hit me up!

ill be sure to do that thanks to everyones help!
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 11:13:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/24/2013 11:16:39 PM EST by VillageIdiot2]
Pack test is about 50 lbs pack, 3 miles in 45 min on flat land. No running or skipping.
I bought a 50lbs weightvest from weightvest.com, and ill hit the stairclimber for 20 to 40 min and a 3 mile march on the treadmill.
Also helps to hit the hiking trails with it, just watch your step. Rolled my ankles a few times.

I myself was born and raised in san bernardino, moved out to AZ, best move of my life.
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