Forest Firefighters

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About the Job

Control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

It is also Called

  • Crew Boss
  • Engine Boss
  • Fire Crew Specialist
  • Firefighter
  • Fire Fighter
  • Fire Technician
  • Forest Firefighter
  • Forest Fire Warden
  • Forest Ranger
  • Forest Ranger Technician

What They Do

  • Drop weighted paper streamers from aircraft to determine the speed and direction of the wind at fire sites.
  • Observe forest areas from fire lookout towers to spot potential problems.
  • Serve as fully trained lead helicopter crewmember and as helispot manager.
  • Perform forest maintenance and improvement tasks such as cutting brush, planting trees, building trails and marking timber.
  • Participate in fire prevention and inspection programs.
  • Organize fire caches, positioning equipment for the most effective response.
  • Take action to contain any hazardous chemicals that could catch fire, leak, or spill.
  • Transport personnel and cargo to and from fire areas.
  • Operate pumps connected to high-pressure hoses.
  • Maintain fire equipment and firehouse living quarters.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RS.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Social environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Relationships and Support in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Education Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2012, the average annual wage in Washington was $62,730 with most people making between $22,630 and $91,350

Outlook

0.79%
avg. annual growth

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately 9,610 people in Washington. It is projected that there will be 10,370 employed in 2018.

This occupation will have about 76 openings due to growth and about 304 replacement openings for approximately 380 total annual openings.