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.

Qualified applicants will be referred to the selecting official for consideration when a position is available.  Application will remain on file and available for consideration until December 31, 2013.

This is a standard wildland fire management position description intended for use in the USDA, Forest Service. The position is located on a wildland fire crew. The purpose of the position is wildland fire suppression/management/control as a specialized firefighter with responsibility for the operation and maintenance of specialized tools or equipment.

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.

TEMPORARY OPEN CONTINUOUS RECRUITMENT: Most positions are expected to start in April and be filled through September. There may be some positions that start earlier and/or end later. Applicants are encouraged to apply early in the recruitment process. The first certificate of candidates will be issued to the hiring unit no sooner than five working days after the opening date of the announcement. Additional certificates will be issued upon request from the hiring unit. 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. Some positions will have varying work schedules. Some positions may have irregular and protracted hours of work. Tours of duty include full-time or less than full-time and will involve working weekends or irregular work hours. Considerable travel may be required. Some positions involve work that requires travel away from the official duty location to remote worksites within commuting distance (49 miles).

Positions may be filled as a temporary appointment up to 6 months or as a not to exceed (NTE) 1 year which can be extended 1 additional year.

Hourly wage as shown is Rest of U.S. (RUS). Specific wage rate will vary by location and may be higher or lower than the amount shown on the vacancy announcement.

The USDA Forest Service has legislative authority to recruit and fill Permanent (Career/Career-Conditional), Temporary, and Term Appointments under the USDA Demonstration Project. Under this authority, any U.S. citizen may apply.


Serves as a skilled crewmember on a hand crew assigned to suppress the full range of difficulty and complexity of fires. Utilizes a variety of specialized tools, equipment, and techniques while actively suppressing wildfires, such as a pulaski, shovel, McLeod, ax and chainsaw to control the spread of wildfire. Performs basic fireline activities such as line construction, lopping and scattering of fuels using hand tools and holding, patrolling, monitoring, and mop-up operations. Moves dirt, chops brush, small trees, etc. to construct fire line. Is responsible for observing the rules of wildland firefighting safety. Applies practices and techniques to minimize resource damage. Independently or with one or two other crewmembers may be assigned to carry out specialized assignments such as tree falling, backfire and burnout. Serves as a skilled wildland firefighter on an organized crew during prescribed burns, monitoring and controlling the fire, and collecting data on fire weather and fire behavior.

Travel Required

  • Not Required

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 is made within 30-60 days after the issuance of the certificate


Health Insurance Coverage: As of July 17, 2012, firefighters who occupy a temporary position are covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Upon appointment you will be eligible to enroll in one of the many health plans available to employees.

For more information on the available federal health insurance plans go to:

Other Information

Relocation expenses are not authorized.

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

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.

If you are retired from the Federal Government and are selected for this vacancy, your retirement annuity may be offset from your pay.

Availability of government housing and federal day care facilities will vary by location.

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

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.

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 the category rating procedure as defined in the USDA Demonstration Project Plan. Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position will be placed in the Eligible category. Eligible applicants will be further evaluated against criteria for placement in the Quality category. This evaluation is based on the level of your experience, education, and/or training as determined by your responses to the Occupational Questionnaire. Applicants with veterans’ preference are listed ahead of applicants who do not have veterans’ preference within each category.

Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the “Apply Online” button to the right.

To view the application form, visit:

Required Documents

The following documents must be submitted for your application package to be considered complete. It is your responsibility to ensure 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, system failure or downtime, etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

1. Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade, if applicable; 5) supervisors phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) other qualifications.

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

3. DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) if claiming Veterans’ Preference. Veterans claiming 10 point preference must also submit an SF-15 (Application for 10-point Veteran Preference) and all supporting documentation (such as letter of compensable disability from the Veterans Administration). Current Active Duty members must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions dated within the last 120 days.

Other required documents may include: 

CTAP/ICTAP Required Documentation Reduction-In-Force: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position you will be separated from. Worker's Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50. Disability Annuity Termination: Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held. Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456: Certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.

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. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).

  • Additional Duty Location Info

    MANY vacancies in the following locations

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