Job Description

Job Summary

If you like remote and rugged conditions, extended travel and overnight camping, then becoming a wildland firefighter may be for you. The Department of the Interior is looking for temporary employees to work on a variety of wildland firefighting crews nationwide. Work may include working as a crew member on any of the following types of crews: Hand; Helitack (helicopter); Engine; Prescribed. For more information on Crew Types, click here.

Positions at the GS-5 level have been identified as one of the key fire management positions under the Interagency Fire Program Management (IFPM) Standard. This position has been categorized as a Senior Firefighter (SFF), and is subject to meeting the minimum qualification standards for IFPM prior to being placed into the position. Detailed information regarding IFPM positions can be found at the IFPM website by clicking here.

All locations may not be hiring for all grades; check with each location individually to find out the grades they are hiring for.

FIRST CONSIDERATION DATE: The following locations will begin to consider applicants prior to the closing date of the announcement. You must apply on or before the date indicated below to receive first consideration for the location(s) you are interested in. Thereafter, applications may be considered as needed by location; during the open period of the announcement:

Tulelake, CA (Klamath Basin NWR)
Chiloquin, OR (Klamath Marsh NWR)

Denio, NV (Sheldon-Hart Mountain NWRC)
Plush, OR (Sheldon-Hart Mountain NWRC)
Cheney, WA (Turnbull NWR) - for the GS-3 only
Colville, WA (Little Pend Oreille NWR) - for the GS-3 only

Jamul, CA (San Diego NWRC)
Burns, OR (Malheur NWR)

Los Banos, CA (San Luis NWRC)
Burbank, WA (Mid-Columbia River NWRC)
Othello, WA (Mid-Columbia River NWRC)

Cheney, WA (Turnbull NWR) - for the GS-4 & 5 only
Colville, WA (Little Pend Oreille NWR) - for the GS-4 and 5 only

Willows, CA (Sacramento NWRC)

For information on the Fish and Wildland Services (FWS) fire program, please visit their website at: United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) - Includes positions at National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) and Wetland Management Districts (WMD)

For contacts and information regarding housing availability visit Fire Contacts on the DOI Fire Jobs website and select the state you are interested in.

During the application process, you may select up to SEVEN (7) locations from the list of available locations given at the top of this announcement.


A Wildland Firefighter Trainee (Entry Level) (GS-02, Range/Forestry Aid), receives training, performs simple tasks, and serves as a member of a fire crew. This may include suppression, prescribed fires, or wildland fire.

A Wildland Firefighter Trainee (GS-03, Range/Forestry Aid) is a member of a fire crew; performs assignments as a firefighter in developing a working knowledge of fire suppression and fuels management techniques, practices, and terminology; may assist trained personnel in more specialized assignments such as backfire and burnout, mobile and stationary engine attack; construction of helispots, helitack operations, and performing hover hookups.

A Wildland Firefighter (GS-04 Range/Forestry Technician) is a skilled firefighter crew member on engine, helitack, hand crew or fuels crew. May be assigned to carry out specialized assignments such as tree falling, backfire, and burnout operations; utilizes a variety of specialized tools, equipment and techniques while actively managing wildfires. May be required to operate light vehicles and 4X4s.

A Wildland Firefighter (GS-05 Range/Forestry Technician) is a senior wildland firefighter; on either a hand crew, prescribed fire crew, wildland fire engine crew or a helitack crew; gathers and considers information on weather data, topography, fuel types and fire behavior in responding to wildland fire incidents. May be required to operate light vehicles and 4X4s.

Additional Information

What To Expect Next

If you are determined to be eligible and qualified; you may be referred to the locations you selected during the application process. You can check your application status by logging into My Account, and selecting "Application Status", then select the "More Information" link in the Application Status column to view detailed information regarding your application status. You will only be notified through e-mail when you are referred; no other notifications will be sent.


Temporary employees hired in wildland fire or wildland fire support positions are eligible for the following:
  • Annual and Sick Leave
  • Depending on tour of duty – Sunday, holiday, shift differential and/ or hazard pay
  • Paid federal holidays
  • Participation in the Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) program - Employees electing to participate in the FEHB will be responsible for the employee share of the premium while on the official agency roles.  After separating from federal employment, employees will be offered to continue participation in FEHB under the Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) option. Employees electing to continue coverage under the TCC provision will be responsible for the full premium amount plus a 2% administration fee.

  • Other Information

    SELECTIVE SERVICE: Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. To register or verify your registration go to the Selective Service System website.

    BACKGROUND INVESTIGATIONS: These positions are subject to a pre-employment background investigation. If applicable, the appointment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of the background investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to satisfy the background check will result in cancellation of offer of employment or may be grounds for termination. For further information on Privacy Act, please refer to the "Legal and Regulatory Guidance" link at the bottom of the screen.

    How to Apply

    Applications must be received ON-LINE through USAJOBS. On-line applications must be submitted prior to 12:00AM (Midnight) Eastern Standard Time of the closing date/early consideration date of the announcement.

    Step 1 - Register with USAJOBS ( and Create a Resume. You must use the USAJOBS resume builder, DOI FIRES does not accept uploaded resumes.

    Step 2 - Review the Vacancy Announcement Review the announcement thoroughly. These sections describe who is eligible to apply, what education and/or experience is required for the position, and which documents are needed for your application package. We suggest you preview the vacancy questions, located under the Qualifications and Evaluations tab. You may need to update your USAJOBS resume to ensure that it supports your responses to these questions.

    Step 3 - Apply Online Click the "Apply Online" link at the side of the page. Select your USAJOBS resume to submit with your application and answer the vacancy questions.

    Step 4 - Supporting Documentation To submit required supporting documentation that applies to you, refer to the 'Required Documents' section below. For detailed step-by-step instructions on how to apply click here.

    After you have completed the online application process you may review your current application status at any time, and update your application during the open period of the announcement. Click here for updating application instructions. Failure to provide the required information may negatively affect your qualification determinations.

    If applying online poses a hardship for you, or you do not have Internet access, contact the FIRES help desk 1-888-364-6432 for an application packet PRIOR to the closing date of the announcement.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    Your application will be evaluated by reviewing your on-line resume and your responses to the User Information, Core Questions, and Vacancy Questions, and if applicable your transcripts. ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS MUST BE SUPPORTED IN YOUR RESUME AND WILL BE VERIFIED. IF THEY ARE NOT SUPPORTED IN YOUR RESUME, YOU MAY BE RATED UNQUALIFIED.
    To preview questions please click here.

    Required Documents

    You MUST fax or upload Required Documents prior to the early consideration or close date.

    College transcripts -
    If you are qualifying using education above high school, you MUST submit your college transcripts.  
    Veteran Preference Documentation -
    If you are claiming Veteran Preference, you MUST submit evidence of eligibility.  DD-214 MUST show character of service (i.e., Member copy 4).  Failure to submit a DD-214 which shows the character of service and other appropriate supporting documentation, if applicable, will result in NOT granting preference.
    NOTE: If you are still on active duty, contact the FIRES Help Desk at the number listed in this announcement for acceptable alternative documentation.
    - 5-point preference - DD-214 which shows character of service (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), or other documentation which proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions.
    - 10-point preference - DD-214, SF-15, an official letter dated 1991 or later from the Department of Veteran's Affairs, or other appropriate source.
    For further information on Veterans Preference, please refer to the "Veteran Information" link at the bottom of the screen.
    Incident Qualification Certification System (IQCS) Master Record or equivalent documentation -
    If you are applying for the GS-5, you must submit your IQCS Master Record or other equivalent documentation which verifies you meet the IFPM minimum qualification standards as stated in the qualification section of this announcement.  Failure to provide this documentation will result in you being rated as not qualified for the GS-5 position.

    * You only need to fax or upload documents that apply to you.
    * For faxing and uploading instructions please click here.

    Failure to submit required documents, if applicable, may result in you not being considered, or not receiving the appropriate preference.  You will not be contacted for additional information.  If you have questions regarding what is considered appropriate supporting documentation, refer to the contact information provided in this announcement.

    • Additional Duty Location Info

      • FEW vacancies - Jamul, CA, US
      • FEW vacancies - Los Banos, CA, US
      • FEW vacancies - Tulelake, CA, US
      • FEW vacancies - Willows, CA, US
      • FEW vacancies - Denio, NV, US
      • FEW vacancies - Burns, OR, US
      • FEW vacancies - Chiloquin, OR, US
      • FEW vacancies - Plush, OR, US
      • FEW vacancies - Burbank, WA, US
      • FEW vacancies - Cheney, WA, US
      • FEW vacancies - Colville, WA, US
      • FEW vacancies - Othello, WA, US