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DNR Q & A: What skills and education do I need to be a DNR wildland firefighter?
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources field staff, resource managers and the DNR Information Center staff answer many questions every day about natural resources topics. Here is one of them:
Q. What skills and education do I need to be a DNR wildland firefighter?
A. DNR wildland firefighters must have approved training (see www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/training for required courses and schedules) and pass a physical fitness test at the moderate level. Basic wildland firefighter training includes three classroom/field courses, generally offered in early spring and again in the summer, and two self-study courses.
The DNR employs two types of firefighters: emergency/intermittent positions and seasonal positions. The intermittent positions (smokechasers, fire lead response, fire technicians) are hired directly by DNR area forestry offices for regular, short-term work during high fire danger periods in the spring and fall. Smokechasers are most often local residents. Desirable skills and qualities include mechanical ability, drivers’ license and a willingness to work long hours under difficult conditions. Seasonal wildland fire and prescribed fire positions (natural resource lead fire response, natural resource technician, and general laborer) are posted on the state employment website at: www.careers.state.mn.us. Federal agency wildland firefighter jobs are posted at www.usajobs.gov
— Jean Goad, information officer, Minnesota Interagency Fire Center
For more information, call the DNR information line at 296-6157 or go to the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us.