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General info

The U.S. Forest Service and other federal agencies hire wildland firefighters at different times of the year, depending on the need and location. All applications are submitted and processed through the federal government's hiring website USAJOBS. Typically there are two main hiring periods, spring and fall fire hire. New hires are usually hired as full-time, seasonal employees that will work during the summer months when the need for additional resources is highest. Seasonal employees later have the option of applying to become full-time, permanent

employees that work year round.

To apply for a wildland firefighter job with the US Forest Service or other federal

agencies follow these steps:


1) Visit and create a profile

2) Create a resume using the USAJOBS online template or upload your own

3) Search for job listings in the search bar using keywords such as "fire", "forestry aid" or "forestry technician"

4) Apply for jobs by following the posted instructions within the listings in your search results

Find more info at:

Palomar Hiring

The Palomar Hotshots typically hire new crew members once a year during the spring fire hire period through USAJobs. There are usually one to three vacancies that open on the crew when the yearly hiring period comes around. Hotshot positions are not entry level firefighting jobs and require previous professional experience, qualifications and/or education. Current crew members have come from different professional backgrounds with most gaining their experience and required qualifications through first working on a type II handcrew, fire engine, volunteer department or attending a fire academy.

Current Job Postings

Current job openings will open and close throughout the year. To check for current postings and more information, it's best to visit the Cleveland Nation Forest's employment web page at



The physical ability to perform arduous labor in all climates and weather conditions is critical to crew morale, personal health, safety standards and mission completion. As part of the training program, all crew personnel are required to participate in a minimum of 1 hour of fitness training, 5 days a week, during periods unassigned to an incident.

Our fitness training program focuses on stretching, aerobic fitness and strength building. This typically includes but is not limited to hiking in full gear, trail running, circuit training, weight lifting, yoga, recovery runs, resistance bikes, etc.

All IHC personnel shall meet the Work Capacity Test (WCT) for fire line personnel:

  • Arduous Work Capacity Test(WCT), 3 miles in 45 minutes or less with a 45 lb. pack on

All IHC crew members should strive to meet the fitness standards outlined in Fitness and Work Capacity, 3rd edition by Dr. Brian Sharkey:

  • 1.5 mile run in a time of 10:35 or less

  • 40 sit-ups in 60 seconds

  • 25 pushups in 60 seconds

  • Chin-ups, based on body weight

    • More than 170 lbs. = 4 chin-ups

    • 135-170 lbs. = 5 chin-ups

    • 110-135 lbs. = 6 chin-ups

    • Less than 110 lbs. = 7 chin-ups

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