OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has begun recruiting for 550 temporary firefighters to serve with the state’s largest wildland firefighting department for next year’s fire season. This year, DNR crews have responded to a record 1,857 wildfire calls.
“Firefighters do important work that protects our communities and natural resources. We are looking for motivated and capable individuals who can do strenuous outdoor work and has the desire to serve our state to apply to be part of our firefighting team,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, who heads DNR. “Having 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.
Franz specified that one way the agency is adjusting to our state’s changing climate and the ensuing impacts on wildfire season is by hiring seasonal firefighters to respond earlier and later in the season.
DNR provides its firefighters with all the required safety clothing, equipment and training. 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.