Job Overview


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.

This position is temporary and has a Not-to-Exceed date. However, an extension of the appointment may be possible without further competition. The appointment may also end early due to lack of work or funds.

This position is established on a Forest Service unit to provide for the detection and reporting of fires from a lookout station. 

This vacancy announcement is for one or more locations throughout Region 5. The number and location of positions to be filled will be dependent upon individual unit needs.

TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT: 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 will be filled as a temporary appointment up to 6 months.

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.


Uses standard fire finders to locate observed smoke. Estimates distance to smokes and probable size and characteristics of fires. Determines map location of fires with reference to known landmarks. Reports azimuth, distance, location, volume, color, behavior of smoke, and other pertinent information by radio or telephone. Continues to observe the area and reports significant changes such as increased smoke, wind conditions, changes in color or volume of smoke, etc. Observes ground lightning strikes, thunderstorms, and build-up cloud formations and reports significant observations.

Records and reports daily weather observations. Maintains records and log books. Makes minor adjustments and maintains lookout equipment. Maintains lookout station and grounds in a neat and orderly condition.

Operates a radio communications center which connects other lookout stations and radio sets. Receives and relays messages and information received relating to weather forecasts, fire hazard conditions, fire emergencies, accidents, and location of work crews and personnel.

Serves as key contact at a lookout station visited by large numbers of people during the fire season. Promotes the fire prevention program by explaining State and Federal laws, policies, and regulations, as well as fire prevention methods and procedures and fire hazard conditions.

Travel Required

  • Occasional Travel
  • Per Work Assignment

Relocation Authorized

  • No
  • Additional Duty Location Info

    MANY vacancies in the following locations

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    • Covelo, CA
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