The DNR communications team works with agency experts to develop the weekly questions and provide the answers. This feature addresses current DNR issues, interesting topics, or the most frequently asked questions from around Minnesota.
Q: What skills and education do I need to be a DNR wildland firefighter?
A: DNR wildland firefighters must have approved training (see www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/training for required courses and schedules) and pass a physical fitness test at the moderate level. Basic wildland firefighter training includes three classroom/field courses, generally offered in early spring and again in the summer, and two self-study courses.
The DNR employs two types of firefighters: emergency/intermittent positions and seasonal positions. The intermittent positions (smokechasers, fire lead response, fire technicians) are hired directly by DNR area forestry offices for regular, short-term work during high fire danger periods in the spring and fall. Smokechasers are most often local residents. Desirable skills and qualities include mechanical ability, drivers’ license and a willingness to work long hours under difficult conditions. Seasonal wildland fire and prescribed fire positions (natural resource lead fire response, natural resource technician, and general laborer) are posted on the state employment website at: www.careers.state.mn.us.
Federal agency wildland firefighter jobs are posted at www.usajobs.gov.
-Jean Goad, information officer, Minnesota Interagency Fire Center