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CalFire Seasonal

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  • CalFire Seasonal

    Hey guys, I'm a first year fire tech student in CA and I've been thinking about applying for seasonal work with CalFire. I finish up my EMT class next week and should be certified before they start taking apps. I realize that I'm more than likely vastly under qualified compared to many, but I was looking for some input on what I should really be doing to help myself out, as well as the likelihood I might find a job somewhere. I'll be applying to every unit in the state and I'm waiting to be interviewed for a volunteer position in my hometown. What else should I be doing and is there any programs hosted by Cal Fire that I could do this fall to try and give myself any more of an edge? Thanks!

  • #2
    Don't limit yourself to Calfire, there are many more options available for seasonal wildland fire work. getting work as a wldland firefighter has become far more competitive than in the past, and this is particularly true with Calfire.

    Look at the Federal agencies, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife and Bureau of Indian Affairs all of whom hire seasonal wildland firefighters.

    You can find these jobs at USAJOBS https://www.usajobs.gov/ by searching under 0462 Forestry Aid / Technician and 0455 Range Aid / Technician. They usually start taking applications beginning around November through around February. I know the US Forest Service plans to open their application period for California in early January this year. The open period if often fairly short, 2-4 weeks so keep an eye out and jump on the app as soon as you see it.

    Several county and local fire districts in California also hire seasonal firefighters, Marin Co, Kern Co, Ventura Co, Santa Barbara Co and LA Co do for sure, I know there are others. I know some of the Lake Tahoe area fire districts also run seasonal fire crews as well.

    If you are 18-25 the California Conservation Corps has some fire crews run in cooperation with Calfire or the US Forest Service. These are probably the lowest paid fire crews in the state (they pay minimum wage) but it is good experience and when you work the hours they work minimum wage can still add up to a decent paycheck for a college student. Some state agencies also give past CCC members extra point when hiring.

    There are lots of agencies that manage large open spaces where firefighting may be a collateral duty or that may hire a small number of seasonal firefighters, city / county park districts, water districts, California State Parks, Army Corps of Engineers etc. There are even some private organizations such as the Nature Conservancy who hire firefighters to conduct prescribed burns on their land.

    There are a lot of private contract fire crews out there, most of the more reputable companies belong to the National Wildfire Suppression Association http://nwsa.publishpath.com/

    Last there are quite a few on call fire crews organized by the US Forest Service, the work is intermittent varying from a lot to practically none depending on the season, but even in a slow year these crews are a good source of training and networking, and in busier years they can be great experience and a decent income.

    As far as how to get an edge, training and experience is always good, as is keeping yourself out of trouble. Many an aspiring firefighter has dashed their hopes of a career in the fire service with a moment of poor judgment (DUI being a very popular way to kill a fire career before it starts).

    You mention getting your EMT, but far more important do you have certified wildland training? Many college fire programs are very narrowly focused on city firefighting and fail to provide certification for wildland beyond the minimums required for state FF1. Calfire has their own agency wildland certification and they are very specific in requiring that. Almost every other wildland fire agency uses the NWCG basic wildland training (32-40 hours) but will often accept Calfires training as the equivalent.

    Another good thing to work on is your physical fitness, it may not help you get the job, but it can certainly help make sure you don't lose it if you are hired.

    Happy to answer any questions you may have.


    • #3
      Is Calfire's wildfire cert a prerequisite to getting hired or do they do it upon hiring? I think I've heard that they do some sort of training/cert at the AEU which is my local unit but I'm not sure where to inquire more about this prospect.


      • #4

        From what I understand it is a prereq to actually get hired, but not to apply. The same goes for most of the other agencies I listed as well, the minimum quals to apply are much lower than what you need to have a realistic chance of landing a job.

        I work for the US Forest Service, so have some familiarity with Calfire, but not the same as one of their employees. Stop by a station and talk with a captain or BC, they should have a good idea of what it takes these days to get hired as a seasonal in their unit, and what training opportunities are available locally.


        • #5
          To open the topic back up, I know calfire is holding interviews for seasonals this week in RRU, BDU and perhaps other units, anyone interview?


          • #6
            I work in the print quality department and we often repeat the scientific plagiarism thesis. You can use this resource https://ukessay.com/plagiarism-checker to check the quality of articles. This will help you understand the value of scientific facts and educational methodology. Fires are stupid people who don’t read literature.


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