Job Description

Job Summary

A career with the Forest Service will challenge you to manage and care for more than 193 million acres of our nation's most magnificent lands, conduct research through a network of forest and range experiment stations and the Forest Products Laboratory, and provide assistance to State and private forestry agencies.

It's an awesome responsibility - but the rewards are as limitless as the views.

The position is located on a wildland fire crew. This position performs wildland firefighting work and to lead crews performing such work. These may be hand crews (e.g. non-IHC handcrews), and/or prescribed fire crews. These crews perform work directly related to wildland fire suppression and control activities including suppression, preparedness, prevention, monitoring, hazardous fuels reduction, and prescribed burning.

This position is being concurrently announced under USDA Demonstration Project procedures (open to US Citizens) under announcement  number OCRP-462-HANDCREW-6DP.  Current or former Federal employees and candidates eligible for special hiring authorities may apply to both announcements, but should be sure to apply to this Merit Promotion Announcement in order to avoid losing consideration since different referral criteria apply to each type of announcement.

PERMANENT OPEN CONTINUOUS RECRUITMENT: This is a continuously open vacancy announcement for one or more locations throughout the Forest Service. The number and location of positions to be filled will be dependent upon individual unit needs. Positions may be filled as career ladders or could be filled at the full performance level dependent upon the individual unit's needs. Availability of government housing, federal day care facilities, and bargaining unit status will vary by location. Pay rates vary depending on location. To ensure that you receive consideration, applications submitted through the on-line application process must be received by 11:59 p.m. eastern time the day before a certificate of candidates is issued. When there are no applicants for specific locations, the search area may be broadened when generating certificates to include locations in the closest city nearby. To obtain more information about the US Forest Service and individual locations, go to (a search can be done by State or by Name). We encourage applicants to contact supervisors at the chosen locations for specific information. To ensure continued interest and availability, applicants will be notified via e-mail reminding them to re-certify their application every 60 days. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age upon appointment. Some positions have other conditions of employment not specified in this announcement. Applicants will be notified of any specific requirements at the time a tentative job offer is made.

These are permanent positions with varying tours of duty and may include weekend work. Some positions may have irregular and protracted hours of work. Tours of duty include full-time or less than full-time (guaranteed minimum 6 months/13 pay periods of full-time employment). If on a seasonal schedule, you will be placed in a non-pay status for the rest of the season.

Pay rates vary depending on location. See the OPM website at for additional information on pay rates. 

This position has been identified under the Interagency Fire Program Management (IFPM) and is subject to selective placement factor requirements contained in the Interagency Fire Program Management (IFPM) Standard and Guide when filling this vacancy. IFPM selective placement factors are made up of a primary and secondary National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) core Incident Management Qualifications and Required Training. The applicant must possess these qualifications to be considered eligible for this position. For further information: 


Serves as a team/work leader, leading team efforts in the development, implementation, and/or evaluation of program or project responsibilities. 

Serves on crews performing duties in fire prevention and suppression. Performs prescribed burning crew duties in order to reduce fuel hazards and disease, while protecting wildlife. Assists with fire dispatch through operation of radios, telephones, and other necessary equipment to exchange information for fire weather and other forest suppression activities.

Lays or directs hose in the use of water. Moves dirt, chops brush, and fells small trees to build fireline using various hand tools such as axes, shovels, Pulaskis, and McLeods to control spreading wildland fire and/or to prepare lines prior to controlled burning.

Performs wildfire suppression support as directed within training and physical capabilities and other duties as assigned.

Additional Information

What To Expect Next

If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an acknowledgement email that the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful, if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and if you were selected or not selected.  If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application.  Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official.  If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted.   Normally, a final job offer to the selected candidate are made within 30-60 days after the issuance of the certificate


The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package.  Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at:

Other Information

Relocation expenses are authorized.

We may select from this announcement or any other source to fill one or more vacancies.  

Bargaining Unit Status: Eligible - Coverage is dependent upon unit location.

Career Transition Assistance Plan(CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles must meet the agency's definition for a quality candidate to be considered. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at

Initial appointment is subject to satisfactory completion of training.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.

FIREFIGHTER RETIREMENT COVERAGE: This is a primary/rigorous position covered under the special retirement provisions of 5 USC 8336(c) for the Civil Service Retirement System and of 5 USC 8412(d) for the Federal Employees Retirement System.  This position is subject to a Maximum Entry Age (MEA) requirement which has been set at age 37.  Applicants must be under age 37 prior to their appointment date for entry into this position.  An applicant’s entry age may be adjusted based on credit for past primary/secondary service which is otherwise creditable for retirement.  Temporary primary/rigorous service will only be credited if performed prior to January 1, 1989 (temporary service performed beginning 1/1/89 or later is not creditable for retirement).  Applicants who are entitled to veteran’s preference are eligible to request a waiver to the maximum age requirement. In instances where the maximum entry-age is waived, the corresponding mandatory retirement age for these individuals will also be higher because it will be reached after 20 years of coverage under special retirement provisions for the entitlement to an immediate enhanced annuity.

Some Fire positions may have Conditions of Employment such as: a valid state drivers license; a commercial drivers license (CDL); pre-appointment and random drug testing; or a physical or medical examination. There may be additional Conditions of Employment not listed here, however applicants will be notified of any specific requirements at the time a tentative job offer is made.

Applications received become the property of the USDA Forest Service and will not be returned.

Veterans: Under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 as amended by Section 511 of the Veterans Millennium Health Care Act (Public Law 106-117), veterans who are preference eligible or who have been separated from the armed forces after substantially completing 3 years of continuous service performed under honorable conditions may apply and will be considered for this position under merit promotion procedures. 

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Check our website at: for general information on the Forest Service.

How to Apply

Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.

You must complete the application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. Assistance is available during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be received no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing. This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us if you require this for any part of the application and hiring process.

Step1 – Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not already have one) at It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.

Step 2 - Create a Resume with USAJOBS or upload a Resume into your USAJOBS account. You may want to customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. In addition, your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).

Step 3 - Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required.

You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Simply log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience, and training you described in your resume, as well as the responses to the Occupational Questionnaire to determine the degree to which you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities listed below:

  • Skilled in Handcrew operations and techniques in relation to wildland fire and prescribed fire.
  • Knowledge of fire suppression and fuel management techniques and practices uses under various conditions involving weather, terrain, and wildland fuels.
  • Ability to organize plan, direct, and review the work of team members.
  • Knowledge of land use and resource management, and wilderness practices sufficient to assist in the planning and execution of varied projects (e.g., prescribed fire, wildland fire use, hazard fuel reduction, fuel projects, timber stand improvement, and wildland habitat improvement).

Your online application and resume serves as the basis for qualification determinations and must highlight your most relevant and significant work experience(s) and education (if applicable) as it relates to this job opportunity. Your resume should contain sufficient information to make a valid determination that you fully meet the basic/specialized experience requirements as stated in this job announcement for each grade level(s) for which you are applying. In order to fully evaluate your application and receive proper credit, your resume should include: (1) paid and non-paid experience, job title, dates held (month and year for qualifying purposes to receive credit), number of hours worked per week, and salary (2) knowledge of the subject matter and technical skills pertinent to this position; (3) specific duties performed that fully detail the level and complexity of the work with percentages of time performing these duties if work involved a variety of different duties (i.e. 75% of the time performing these duties and 25% of the time performing this duty) and (4) names and phone numbers of your current and/or previous supervisor(s). Applicants found to be among the top qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring official for further consideration. This information should be clearly identified in your online application or resume.  Failure to provide information sufficient to determine your qualifications for the position will result in loss of consideration.  

To view the application form, visit:

Required Documents

The following documents must be submitted to constitute a complete application package. It is your responsibility to ensure that all required documents are received within the required timeframes. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents will result in elimination from consideration.

1. Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience; and, 5) other qualifications.

2. College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or you are substituting education for specialized experience. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application, however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required.

3. DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) and/or SF-15 Application for 10-point Veteran Preference if claiming Veterans’ Preference or eligibility for appointment under the VRA, VEOA, or 30% Disabled Veterans hiring authority.

4. SF-50 Notification of Personnel Action if you are a current or former Federal employee that will verify your federal status, position title, series and grade. FSA County employees must provide the most recent Notification of Personnel Action (Form SF-50-B or FSA-50) that verifies permanent status. Also provide the SF-50 that reflects the highest grade level held on a permanent basis or the full performance level of your current position, whichever is higher.

5. Annual Performance Appraisal if you are a current Federal employee. Submit the most recently completed annual performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) which identifies the employee's official rating of record, signed by the supervisor, or a statement advising why the performance appraisal is unavailable. Do not submit a performance plan.

6. Certification of Disability if you are eligible for appointment based on a disability under the Schedule A hiring authority. This certification can be documented by a counselor from a State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency or the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs; by a statement or letter on a physician/medical professionals’ letterhead stationary; or by statements, records, or letters from a Federal Government agency that issues or provides disability benefits. The certification must verify the applicant has a severe disability, is eligible under a Schedule A appointment authority, and he or she is able to perform the essential duties of the position. The certification must also describe any needed reasonable accommodation. You can review additional information at:

7. If you are eligible for appointment based on service in the Peace Corps, Vista, Action Cooperative, or another special authority, submit proof of eligibility.

8. CTAP/ICTAP documentation if separated from Federal service or pending separation based on a reduction in force (RIF) or other management workforce reduction action. Proof of eligibility must include a separation notice or Certificate of Expected Separation, SF-50 that documents the RIF separation action or most recent SF-50 (that is not an award), and latest performance appraisal (dated within the last 18 months) or a statement advising why one is unavailable.

NOTE: If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document.

In order to be considered for this position, copies of your Incident Qualification and Certification System (IQCS) Master Record (or equivalent training documents) which contain documented proof of the certification or attainment of the IFPM Selective Placement Factor for this position MUST be attached to your application. Currency Requirement: Required to maintain currency once hired into the position. Currency of NWCG qualifications is not required for selection. If not currently qualified, the applicant must provide documented evidence that they have been fully qualified in the past, and are able to regain currency within one year of being hired. Failure to provide this documentation will result in disqualification.

  • Additional Duty Location Info

    Many vacancies in the following locations

    • Heflin, AL
    • Chino Valley, AZ
    • Douglas, AZ
    • Duncan, AZ
    • Flagstaff, AZ
    • Nogales, AZ
    • Overgaard, AZ
    • Payson, AZ
    • Tucson, AZ
    • Williams, AZ
    • Booneville, AR
    • Clarksville, AR
    • Danville, AR
    • Glenwood, AR
    • Hector, AR
    • Jasper, AR
    • Jessieville, AR
    • Marianna, AR
    • Mena, AR
    • Mountain View, AR
    • Mount Ida, AR
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    • Ozark, AR
    • Paris, AR
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    • Waldron, AR
    • Camp Connell, CA
    • Chester, CA
    • Fort Jones, CA
    • Georgetown, CA
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    • Hat Creek, CA
    • Hathaway Pines, CA
    • Jolon, CA
    • Kernville, CA
    • Macdoel, CA
    • Mad River, CA
    • Mammoth Lakes, CA
    • Mi-Wuk Village, CA
    • Mount Hebron, CA
    • Pinecrest, CA
    • Pollock Pines, CA
    • South Lake Tahoe, CA
    • Springville, CA
    • Susanville, CA
    • Willow Creek, CA
    • Bayfield, CO
    • Boulder, CO
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    • Canon City, CO
    • Carbondale, CO
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    • Fort Collins, CO
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    • Silver Springs, FL
    • Tallahassee, FL
    • Umatilla, FL
    • Blairsville, GA
    • Eatonton, GA
    • Lakemont, GA
    • Avery, ID
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    • Cascade, ID
    • Clarkia, ID
    • Clayton, ID
    • Coeur d'Alene, ID
    • Council, ID
    • Dubois, ID
    • Elk City, ID
    • Fairfield, ID
    • Featherville, ID
    • Fenn, ID
    • Grangeville, ID
    • Idaho City, ID
    • Island Park, ID
    • Kooskia, ID
    • Lowman, ID
    • McCall, ID
    • Mackay, ID
    • Nordman, ID
    • North Fork, ID
    • Orofino, ID
    • Potlatch, ID
    • Saint Maries, ID
    • Sandpoint, ID
    • Smelterville, ID
    • Stanley, ID
    • Warren, ID
    • White Bird, ID
    • Tell City, IN
    • Elkhart, KS
    • Big Creek, KY
    • London, KY
    • Morehead, KY
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    • Bentley, LA
    • Winnfield, LA
    • Oscoda, MI
    • Aurora, MN
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    • Walker, MN
    • Meadville, MS
    • Wiggins, MS
    • Ava, MO
    • Doniphan, MO
    • Poplar Bluff, MO
    • Powell County, MT
    • Ashland, MT
    • Augusta, MT
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    • Butte, MT
    • Choteau, MT
    • Darby, MT
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    • Plains, MT
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    • Sula, MT
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    • Townsend, MT
    • Trout Creek, MT
    • Troy, MT
    • West Yellowstone, MT
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    • Chadron, NE
    • Glenwood, NM
    • Grants, NM
    • Magdalena, NM
    • Mimbres, NM
    • Quemado, NM
    • Truth or Consequences, NM
    • Franklin, NC
    • Nebo, NC
    • New Bern, NC
    • Pisgah Forest, NC
    • Hodgen, OK
    • Idabel, OK
    • Talihina, OK
    • Baker City, OR
    • Bend, OR
    • Bly, OR
    • Cascade Locks, OR
    • Cottage Grove, OR
    • Crescent, OR
    • Detroit, OR
    • Enterprise, OR
    • Estacada, OR
    • Glide, OR
    • Gold Beach, OR
    • Halfway, OR
    • Hebo, OR
    • Heppner, OR
    • Hines, OR
    • Idleyld Park, OR
    • John Day, OR
    • Klamath Falls, OR
    • La Grande, OR
    • Lakeview, OR
    • McKenzie Bridge, OR
    • Merlin, OR
    • Mount Hood, OR
    • Oakridge, OR
    • Powers, OR
    • Prairie City, OR
    • Prineville, OR
    • Prospect, OR
    • Silver Lake, OR
    • Sisters, OR
    • Tiller, OR
    • Ukiah, OR
    • Unity, OR
    • Waldport, OR
    • Westfir, OR
    • Bradford, PA
    • Marienville, PA
    • Warren, PA
    • Edgefield, SC
    • New Ellenton, SC
    • Custer, SD
    • Hill City, SD
    • Hot Springs, SD
    • Rapid City, SD
    • Spearfish, SD
    • Benton, TN
    • Greeneville, TN
    • Tellico Plains, TN
    • Unicoi, TN
    • Milam, TX
    • New Waverly, TX
    • Ratcliff, TX
    • Zavalla, TX
    • Beaver, UT
    • Cedar City, UT
    • Duchesne, UT
    • Ephraim, UT
    • Escalante, UT
    • Ferron, UT
    • Heber City, UT
    • Loa, UT
    • Monticello, UT
    • Nephi, UT
    • Ogden, UT
    • Panguitch, UT
    • Pleasant Grove, UT
    • Saint George, UT
    • Salt Lake City, UT
    • South Weber, UT
    • Spanish Fork, UT
    • Teasdale, UT
    • Vernal, UT
    • Buena Vista, VA
    • Marion, VA
    • Natural Bridge Station, VA
    • Newcastle, VA
    • Amboy, WA
    • Chelan, WA
    • Cle Elum, WA
    • Darrington, WA
    • Entiat, WA
    • Kettle Falls, WA
    • Leavenworth, WA
    • Metaline Falls, WA
    • Naches, WA
    • Newport, WA
    • Pomeroy, WA
    • Randle, WA
    • Republic, WA
    • Sedro Woolley, WA
    • Tonasket, WA
    • Trout Lake, WA
    • Walla Walla, WA
    • Winthrop, WA
    • Eagle River, WI
    • Florence, WI
    • Lakewood, WI
    • Laona, WI
    • Washburn, WI
    • Buffalo, WY
    • Cody, WY
    • Douglas, WY
    • Dubois, WY
    • Greybull, WY
    • Lander, WY
    • Laramie, WY
    • Lovell, WY
    • Moran, WY
    • Newcastle, WY
    • Saratoga, WY
    • Sheridan, WY
    • Sundance, WY