The Wildland Firefighter, GS-0456-05, at this level is a trained and experienced member of a wildland fire module or crew executing fire management activities in fire preparedness, fuels management and prevention, and fire suppression, monitoring, and post-fire. Work may also include all hazard and emergency response activities. Fire modules or crews include Hand Crews, Engine Crews, and Helitack Crews. Specific specialty areas of work within fire modules or crews include aviation, fire engine operation, fire management planning, fuels management, helitack, and prevention.

In addition, performs the following duties specific to the crew or module assigned:

  • Engine: May drive and operate a wildland fire engine, positioning the engine for proper use and operation based on an understanding of engine capabilities and weight limitations. As directed, starts pump engine, primes pump, adjusts engine speed and pump valves, lays hose, and uses appropriate nozzles and makes nozzle adjustments for effective use of water and additives. May have specialized duties such as water handling specialist or maintenance of specialized equipment used to respond to wildland urban interface/intermix situations.
  • Crews: Serves as lookout and as directed, locates fireline and implements appropriate fireline construction methods necessary (e.g., mineral soil scrape, cup trenching, removal of ladder fuels) to stop fire spread, making adjustments based on terrain and other conditions and assessing escape routes and safety zones. Conducts tree felling and chainsaw operations, including appropriate snag mitigation. Monitors weather and smoke conditions and reports observations to the crew. As assigned, ensures proper refurbishing and resupply of tools, vehicles, food, water, and other supplies.
  • Helitack: Performs helicopter crewmember duties such as: prepares internal and/or external cargo loads, briefs passengers before takeoff, follows proper procedures for loading/unloading the helicopter, constructs helispots or landing areas, monitors dipsites, and prepares sling load sites. Works with higher-graded firefighters and receives on-the-job training, instruction, and orientation in helicopter operations to include accompanying the pilot on flights, providing radio communications to dispatch and/or ground firefighters, navigating with use of maps, and applying aviation safety regulations. May serve as a rappeller or short hauler.

Maintains and/or coordinates and ensures maintenance of equipment and various hand tools such as shovels, Pulaskis, and McLeods, water hose, and backpack pumps.

Leads less-complex fuels management projects or participates in more complex projects that include gathering data for and carrying out prescribed fire, and mechanical and biological treatments.


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National
  • Resume (See “Required Documents”). Failure to provide ALL required information on your resume will result in loss of consideration due to an incomplete application package. It is your responsibility to ensure all information is provided on resume.
  • Suitability for employment, as determined by background investigation
  • Drug testing position
  • Medical Requirements
  • Official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service uniform required
  • May be required to successfully complete a probationary period
  • You must meet specialized experience to qualify
  • Must meet the minimum/maximum age requirement
  • Direct Hire Authority will be used to fill this position
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for Selective Service


This key fire management position is a categorized under the Interagency Fire Program Management (IFPM) Standard. Minimum IFPM qualification standards must be met prior to being placed into the position. Detailed information regarding IFPM positions can be found at https://www.ifpm.nifc.gov/.

Prior experience in wild land firefighting is required in order to carry out the duties of this position. You will not be considered for this position if you do not have prior wild land firefighting experience.

Only experience and education obtained by 06/14/2024 will be considered.

***Your resume MUST include BEGINNING and END DATES specified in MONTH/YEAR to MONTH/YEAR format. In addition, your resume MUST reflect FULL-TIME/PART-TIME or total number of HOURS worked per week***

To Qualify for the GS-0456-05

A. 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-4 level in the Federal Service demonstrated by performing range or forest fire control, prevention, or suppression work. Examples of qualifying specialized experience include leading firefighting crews in prescribed burning and wildfire suppression field operations and performing wildland fire suppression, preparedness, prevention, monitoring, hazardous fuels reduction and prescribed fire as wildland firefighter crewmember

B. Completed least a full 4-year course of study above high school (120 semester hour or 180 quarter hours) leading to a bachelor’s degree with major study in forestry, range management, agriculture or a subject-matter field directly related to the position (e.g., fire science, suppression and prevention), or that included at least 24 semester hours of course work in any combination of courses such as forestry, agriculture, crop or plant science, range management or conservation, wildlife management, watershed management, soil science, natural resources (except marine fisheries and oceanography), outdoor recreation management, civil or forest engineering, or wildland fire science. No more than 6 semester hours in mathematics is creditable toward the 24 hours.

C. Combination of education and experience that when combined meet 100% of the qualification requirements. For example, I have 6 months of the specialized experience described in A above (50% of the experience requirement), and three years of college study from an accredited institution, which included at least 12 semester hours of related coursework as specified in B above (50% of the qualifying education). NOTE: Only education in excess of the first 60 semester hours of a course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirements.

IMPORTANT – PLEASE NOTE: If you are using education to qualify you must submit a legible copy of your transcripts (A copy of your official transcripts will be required before entrance on duty, if selected).

This position is covered by the special retirement provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8336 (c) and 5 U.S.C. 8412 (d) as a Primary/Rigorous Firefighter. Applicants must be 18 years of age, but not have reached their 37th birthday by the closing date of this announcement. These positions are covered by the special enhanced annuity retirement provisions for Federal Firefighters and Law Enforcement officers and have a mandatory retirement age of 57. Two exceptions are allowed: 1) an applicant has prior Federal service in documented special retirement covered position(s) sufficient to count toward 20 years of covered service on or before the mandatory retirement age of 57; or 2) an applicant is a qualified veterans’ preference eligible, in which case the MEA is waived and their corresponding retirement age may be higher than 57 after completing 20 years of service. Applicants must submit proof of their previous and/or current status in the Fire Fighter or Law Enforcement special enhanced annuity retirement system. Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.


PROOF OF EDUCATION: All applicants who are using education or a combination of education and experience to qualify must submit copies of official or unofficial transcripts which include grades, credit hours earned, major(s), grade point average or class ranking, institution name, and student name. If any required coursework is not easily recognizable on transcripts, or if you believe a portion of a particular course can be credited toward meeting an educational requirement, you must also provide a memorandum on letterhead from the institution’s registrar, dean, or other appropriate official stating the percentage of the course that should be considered to meet the requirement and the equivalent number of units. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable; however, if you are selected for the position, you will be required to produce the original official transcripts.

PASS/FAIL COURSES: If more than 10 percent of your undergraduate course work (credit hours) were taken on a pass/fail basis, your claim of superior academic achievement must be based upon class standing or membership in an honor society.

GRADUATE EDUCATION: One academic year of graduate education is considered to be the number of credits hours your graduate school has determined to represent one academic year of full-time study. Such study may have been performed on a full-time or part-time basis. If you cannot obtain your graduate school’s definition of one year of graduate study, 18 semester hours (or 27 quarter hours) should be considered as satisfying the requirement for one year of full-time graduate study.

FOREIGN EDUCATION: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education. For further information, visit: Recognition of Foreign Qualifications | International Affairs Office (ed.gov)

Additional information

Reasonable Accommodation: The USFWS provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Please visit USAJOBS Help Center | Reasonable accommodation policy if you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process.

To register or verify your registration go to the Selective Service System at https://www.sss.gov/RegVer/wfRegistration.aspx

Additional Vacancies: One or more positions may be filled from applications received under this announcement in the advertised office or other U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service offices in the local commuting area.

This position is suitable for telework and may be allowed to telework with supervisory approval.


  • No PCS entitlements authorized


TESTING DESIGNATED POSITION: All applicants tentatively selected for this position will be required to submit to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment.
MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS: You must pass a pre-employment medical examination. Also, you may be subject to post-employment medical examinations to determine if you are maintaining the fitness standards for this position.
DRIVER’S LICENSE: You must possess and maintain a valid State driver’s license at all times
during your tenure.

Prior to appointment, you must be determined physically fit by an authorized government physician to perform strenuous and physically demanding duties; and also pass a medical examination (which includes vision, hearing, cardiovascular, and mobility of extremities) given by an authorized government physician. You will also be required to periodic medical examinations throughout employment.

The Work Capacity Test (WCT-Pack Test) as a method for assessing an employee’s fitness levels for fire qualifications in the positions covered by this recruitment notice. Arduous fitness (WCT-Pack Test) will consist of completing a three-mile hike, within 45 minutes, while carrying a 45 pound pack. NOTE: Arduous Work Capacity Test (https://www.nwcg.gov/how-to-become-a-wildland-firefighter)

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application: https://help.usastaffing.gov/Apply/index.php?title=Alternate_Application_Information.

  • Benefits

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    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.