Disclaimer

Here I am on my first day of chainsaw training about two weeks into starting my first wildland fire job in California. I was exhilarated but scared to death about trying to operate a saw. I look like a goober.

Here I am on my first day of chainsaw training about two weeks into starting my first wildland fire job in California. I was exhilarated but scared to death about trying to operate a saw. I look like a goober.

This website came out of my personal experiences from eight seasons as a federal wildland firefighter as well as five years as a volunteer structure firefighter in an area that sees wildfire. I’ve been a mentor to other wildland firefighters since I became an FFT1/ squad boss in 2014 as well as helping other volunteers in my structure department get into the wildland side of fire. Everyone asks me the same questions about becoming a wildland firefighter so I thought I’d make a website.

Any information comes from me personally unless noted otherwise. Sources include the NWCG.org website, which is an official wildland fire website, federal job postings, and forest websites about seasonal wildland fire positions and wildland fire in general, all information I use from them will be verbatim so as not to skew anything. I also referenced fs.fed.us, which is helpful for current fire information, wildfire statistics, and information about Forest Service wildland jobs. Any inaccuracies that aren’t cited from a valid source are my own.

Other helpful websites are: The Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center, which lets you deep dive into tragedy fires and discussions on current issues in wildland firefighting as well as other things. The US Hotshots Association has a map with crews and their contact information as well as info on hotshotting and advice on how to get a position.

All photographs were taken by me unless noted otherwise. In some cases I have no idea who took the photo since it was so long ago. I hope they won’t mind since back then it was taken with my iPhone anyways and not taken from them personally.

My wildland fire experiences may be very different from someone else’s. All of my advice comes from what I’ve encountered on and off the fireline. Not everything I recommend will work for you or be useful and that’s ok. I’m not here to tell you how rad I am. I’m just one of tens of thousands of wildland firefighters past and present who is sharing my own version of what it’s like to be a wildland firefighter. I’m also not advising about becoming a hotshot or a smoke jumper. I have little to no experience in those positions.

However, please check out the blog. I’ll be featuring some of my wildland firefighter friends who are very experienced in other types of wild fire crews and you can learn from their experiences.

I hope that this information will guide you and give you a better idea about what a wildland firefighter does and how rewarding the job can be. If you have any questions or sections I can add please contact me. I’d love to hear from you.