To become a wildland firefighter, you must have training (provided by the DNR) and pass a physical fitness test at the moderate level.
Required training includes: S-130 Basic Wildland Firefighter, S-190 Intro to Fire Behavior, L-180 Human Factors on the Fireline, IS-100 Incident Command System Overview (self study), and IS-700 National Incident Management System Overview (self study). More training information
Basic wildland firefighter training is generally offered in early spring and again in the summer. More training information
The DNR employs two types of firefighters: emergency intermittent positions know as smokechasers, fire lead response, and fire technicians, and seasonal positions.
Intermittent or Smokechaser
This position is hired directly by DNR Area Forestry offices. This is irregular, short-term work during high fire danger periods in the spring and fall.
- mechanical ability
- drivers license
- fitness sufficient to pass a moderate fitness level assessment as a condition of hire
- a willingness to work long hours under difficult conditions
Smokechasers are most often local residents. If you are interested in a smokechaser or firefighter position, contact the DNR Area Forestry office closest to where you want to work. All positions are hired locally.
Available jobs are posted on the state employment website. Positions with wildland fire and prescribed fire duties are: NR Lead Fire Response, NR Tech, and General Laborer.
Other firefighting positions
Longer-term seasonal fire positions are often available through the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Bureau of Land Management, which assemble seasonal wildland fire crews for deployment throughout the United States. All federal jobs are posted at www.usajobs.gov.