The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has begun recruiting for 550 temporary firefighters to serve during the 2019 wildfire season with the state’s largest wildland firefighting department. In 2018, DNR crews responded to a record 1,826 wildfires.
“If you are motivated to do this work, I encourage you to apply,” said the Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, who heads DNR. “Having these trained firefighters ready to respond is key to protecting our state’s livelihoods and communities. Their work is incredibly valuable to me and all of our state’s citizens.”
First-time applicants should be able to fill positions from approximately mid-June to mid-September, though some temporary positions will be filled by returning firefighters as soon as April. With growing frequency, seasonal firefighters may also have the opportunity to work longer seasons – into October – when they are able and conditions dictate.
Having seasonal firefighters available to respond earlier and later in the season is one way that the agency is adjusting to our state’s changing climate. The agency’s last wildfire call was as recent as Nov. 21. And one hundred of the agency’s firefighters volunteered to finish out their season in November, assisting with California wildfires.
DNR provides hired firefighters with all required safety clothing, equipment and training they need. Applicants should be willing and capable of performing strenuous outdoor work. Positions span different kinds of wildland firefighting such as hand crews, engine leaders, helitack firefighters, and squad bosses. Those interested can visit DNR’s website www.dnr.wa.gov/employment, to scan firefighting job descriptions, or visit the agency’s blog post.
DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands.