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ok, need some info on Wildland...back to basics....

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  • ok, need some info on Wildland...back to basics....

    New jersey structural firefighter here possibly interested in spending a summer or two out west getting a taste of the wildland service. Can someone just give me the basics? how to start....what agency(s) to look into. I currently have my FF1, EMT-B (national), Heavy rescue tech, and years of experience both ems and fire. I would like to know some basics....used the search function but everything still seems a little confusing to me. And from what I can find, now is the time to begin sending in app's for the 07 season.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Go to http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/ and use the search function. "Firefighter" will give you all the federal firefighter jobs.

    Most entry level wildland jobs are seasonal. You will need to pass the "pack test" which consists of walking three miles on level ground with a 45 pound pack on your back in 45 minutes or less.

    You will also have to take the basic wildland courses which may be done by the agency after you are hired, or you can check with your local state forestry to see if they have and upcoming classes, Make sure that any classes you take locally are NWCG (National Wildfire Coordinating Group), http://www.nwcg.gov/ recognized or they will not count for federal wildland employment. Follow the link on the NWCG site to PMS 310-1, Wildland Fire Qualification Guide.

    BLM and US Forest Service employ most of the wildland firefighters. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Park Service also employ wildland firefighters.


    Stay Safe
    IACOJ

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    • #3
      I've sent you a private message with the info you need. Classes fill up fast...so don't delay!

      Firefighter Type 2 Training S-130/190/I-220/L-180
      February 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 (if needed)
      0800-1700

      At Division A headquarters in Andover...(if you are in Northern NJ)

      Good luck!
      Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
      Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

      *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
      On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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      • #4
        Ray, the Wildland agencies do NOT classify their wildland firefighters as firefighter... We are Foresty Techs/Aide and Range Tech/Aide. Be sure to when searching USAJOBS to use the keyword search so it will pull it out of the job description.

        This link http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=85208 is to a thread on applying to the online application services the USFS and Dept of Interior (BLM, NPS, FWS, BIA) use.

        As for the type of crew... Hotshots (handcrew) will see the most fire, and as a result travel the most. Engine crews get to squirt water as well as dig line . Then there's the rotorheads...helitack.. fly in to fires and dig line, or hover fire and guide engine crew into fire. It's all fun. We live for Overtime to make it a profitable year - Hotshots probably get the most OT of the group. Don't forget to call someplace you are particularly interested in... not everyone pulls applications from AVUE or such.

        Good Luck and shout if you have more questions.
        IACOJ
        Stopping controlled burning DOES NOT stop the burning, only the control!
        http://www.wy.blm.gov/fireuse/fums.htm

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        • #5
          RX,

          Thanks for adding the way to search. I did a quick "firefighter" search and several wildland only positions popped up. Some were seasonal and some were full time. I didn't check to see if the PD included fixing fences, cleaning out cattle guards, fixing trails, and all the other stuff you "Range Techs" seem to get stuck with.

          I have a BLM hotshot crew as a tenant at the federal agency where I work. There are days when the guys & gals on the crew pray for smoke nearby so the don't have to work on the job that someone a lot higher up the food chain has decided they should do because firefighters have a lot of idle time on their hands.

          Stay Safe
          IACOJ

          Comment


          • #6
            just to add: avue digital is another site to use
            https://www.avuedigitalservices.com/
            not sure what the codes are but with that site you can build a resume online and mark yourself as looking for employment.
            That is all with the feds though.
            To get on with CDF you need to go to
            http://www.fire.ca.gov/php/careers_seasonal.php
            If I remember correctly for the socal units you are required to turn in your application in person, could be some of the norcal units as well I am not sure.
            The deadline for CDF is rapidly approaching so if that is what you want I would suggest expiditing the process.

            Comment


            • #7
              large fires

              does large fires create their own wind conditions?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by boost46 View Post
                does large fires create their own wind conditions?
                Most assuredly, yes.

                There are more detailed resources to be found, but this one gives the basics on the phenomenon:

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firestorm
                You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
                IACOJ Power Company Liason
                When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution
                and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy. - Dave Barry.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by boost46 View Post
                  does large fires create their own wind conditions?
                  Yes,they do.
                  Attending the required wildland fire course back in Kentucky doesn't make me an expert at it but they did manage to drive this into my short attention span before I noticed the blonde sitting next to me:
                  Fires can start drawing in air from cooler areas and thus start affecting the prevailing wind currents as they get bigger.There should be someone keeping track of wind speeds and directions at all times so the IC can reposition crews and advise them to bug out when it's time to do so.
                  Look at your hand:a wildland fire is basically the same shape.The wrist area is the base or anchor,and the fingers are parts of the fire as it expands downwind.
                  Also,be aware that fire can run uphill MUCH faster than you can so look for areas that have already burned to have a better chance of not getting burned.Not everyone goes out into areas as remote as the Hotshot crews do,but all wildland crews should have personal shelters in case they get cut off and overrun.
                  Stay out from directly under burning trees.They are called widowmakers for a reason.
                  Never go farther into a fire zone than you can run with your tools.You might have gas powered equipment like chain saws,leaf blowers(we use them in Ky to blow light detritus away from the fire line)and you might have to run for your life.Dropping them might get you in Dutch with the Chief who has to justify buying new stuff,but I'd take that axe-chewing with a smile.At least I'd be there to take it.
                  There's more stuff that I can't speak of because my only wildland experience has been people starting yard fires that get away from them during Kentucy's burn ban season or kids trying that first smoke and throwing it in a pile of leaves when their Uncle catches them.
                  We'd do modified rehab at the engine(more often than usual)and the folks out West might have better ideas than that to offer.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This thread has been hijacked....it was originally a question regarding "HOW" to get assigned to a western crew and "WHAT" training is prereq.

                    Thermal columns most definitely affect weather, especially winds.
                    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      L.A. County Fire hires temp wildland firefighters in the spring for the fire season, check their website www. lacofd.org
                      Slop sink, Flags and pump 150
                      Getting there is half the fun

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                      • #12
                        The best advise I can give is apply early. Most federal positions start posting around the first of the year, get your application in early. The job announcment might say it is open till April, but they start pulling applications around the end of January, the earlier you get it in the better your chances are.

                        If there is somewhere you really want to work, call them or go visit. After you have submitted an application take the time to call or visit and get your name out there. They get hundreds of applications, and if they have talked to you they are more likely to take a closer look at your application.

                        Don't worry too much about the basin 130/190 class. It will look nice on your application if you have it, but most agencies will train you if you don't.
                        "Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all"

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                        • #13
                          Old post!!

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