Fire and Ice–Wildland Firefighting Recruitment Begins Mid-Winter


If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to explore work as a wildland firefighter this summer, hopefully another resolution was to not procrastinate. This year, recruitment for firefighter and fire management jobs will be held for one week only and that week starts THIS Wednesday, January 14-20.

Even for those of us who know that hiring for seasonal fire work begins unseasonably early, it took a while to absorb the early deadline this year. Applicants should know that the deadline is dead serious; temporary firefighter and fire-management jobs will be listed for one week only. Miss the deadline and you miss your opportunity for employment with the U.S. Forest Service this year.This year, the U.S.F.S. streamlined its recruitment process, moving up the dates for hiring temporary employees in Montana, North Idaho, and North Dakota.

Picture21“They are summer jobs people are not typically thinking about right after Christmas,” acknowledged Amber Kamps, who works in recruitment and retention for the U.S. Forest Service’s northern region. The change will help the agency manage the “thousands upon thousands” of applications for its temporary jobs across the country. That will mean less of a scramble to process applications by April or May when the fire season begins to heat up, she said.

To apply, prospective firefighters should create an applicant profile and build a resume in USAJOBS now and then apply for open positions on USAJOBS when they open on January 14. The Forest Service will provide basic wildland fire training and will administer the Pack Test for physical training, usually in the first week of employment. Work has traditionally begun between April and the end of May.

For more information, see the Quick Guide to Fire Hiring (PDF) and Quick Guide to Temp Hiring (PDF).

Here is a list of training providers, provided by the Forest Service:


job applicantHIRING FOR OTHER temporary positions also begins soon. From February 3 through February 9 is recruitment for animal packers, archaeological technicians, biological science technicians, engineering and surveying technicians, equipment operators, forestry technicians, laborers, maintenance workers, motor vehicle operators, recreation technicians, trails technicians, and wilderness workers.

From March 3-9, the Forest Service will hire office workers, visitor information/guides, and Youth Conservation Corps aides / leaders.

For more information on temporary wildlands employment opportunities or any other job, please contact Missoula Job Service at 406-728-7060 or come in to see us at 539 South Third Street West. No appointment is necessary.


Looking for a job in Missoula? Be sure to check out our Missoula Job Listings.  Be sure you “LIKE” the Missoula Job Service Facebook Page for daily post on job opening. You’ll also find Missoula-area information on Job Hunting ResourcesJob Hunting Tips, Job Interview Tips, tips for writing Cover Letters and Resumes.


Chery Sabol is an employment consultant at the Missoula Job Service, an organization that offers programs and services to assist employers and job seekers alike. Those looking for employment can view job openings on our website, as well as our Facebook Page  and Pinterest Boards. Employment consultants provide résumé reviews, conduct practice interviews, and offer skills testing.

The Job Service also provides a self-service area where job seekers have access to phones, a fax machine, a copier, and computers. Our qualified staff also offers business consulting services, including employee recruitment and retention assistance. Additionally, we provide financial support for businesses looking to train both new and current employees.

We are here to help our community!