The majority of the duties performed by a wildland firefighter are outdoors. Experiencing elements of all four seasons is not uncommon. Depending upon where you are stationed, you may experience all four seasons within a few days. Most duties are related to prescribed burning, wildfire suppression, and fire preparedness. These duties include serving as a firefighter or engine operator during prescribed burning and wildfire suppression activities; conducting regular maintenance and repairs on various equipment such as fire engines, tractors, mowers, chain saws, and hand tools; serving as a crew member during fire break preparation which involves rock removal, mowing, trimming, tree and brush removal.
Each position is classed as an arduous fire position under the Interagency Wildfire Qualifications Standards adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As a condition of employment, you must pass a pre-employment medical examination (which the Service will pay for). You will be required to achieve an arduous rating on the “Pack Test,” which requires you to walk 3 miles with a 45 pound backpack in 45 minutes or less.
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