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2020 Ahtanum Initial Attack Hand Crew, Southeast Region

at State of Washington

Posted: 11/15/2019
Job Reference #: 2620444

Job Description

Overall Job Objective


Please read everything in its entirety as you will only be able to apply once per year.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is currently recruiting for the Ahtanum 20-person Handcrew for the 2020 summer season to perform pre-suppression and suppression related activities. This is an excellent opportunity for motivated individuals and students who desire a career in natural resource management or to gain fundamental forestry experience through fire crew employment. Individuals must be willing and capable of performing strenuous outdoor work safely and productively and of accepting direction and acting responsibly. The duration of these positions is generally 4-5 months with work beginning approximately mid-April and ending mid-September (note: the season has the potential to begin as early as April 1st and run as late as October). The experience and training gained as a wildland firefighter can form the foundation for a successful career in forestry and other natural resource professions.

Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible in order to be considered in
the initial screening. Primary review/consideration will take place before February 15, 2020.

This crew is maintained at our Ahtanum Guard Station Facility located 29 miles west of Yakima, WA. At this location, shared crew housing is provided.

At our Ahtanum Guard Station facility, located 29 miles west of Yakima, DNR hosts a 22 person Type- 2 initial attack handcrew that can be dispatched statewide throughout the wildfire season. At this location, shared crew housing is provided. Remotely located on the Ahtanum State Forest, the Ahtanum Guard Station is a work center for recreation, wildfire and other DNR staff and provides specifically for the handcrew employees, a bunkhouse style living quarters. Outdoor recreational opportunities for the public and employee are vast throughout the state forest.


Many of the duties performed on these jobs require considerable physical exertion; working outdoors in all terrain and weather conditions, working long hours, and extended periods of time away from home. Duties include but may not be limited to the ability to carry up to 60 pounds, run, bend, twist, walk and/or climb. A work capacity test or "pack" test that measures the physical fitness of candidates is administered as part of the selection process. Candidates are required to pass at the "arduous" level for a firefighter crew member or squad boss position. Below is a chart describing what the work of a wildland firefighter may include:

Time/Work Volume:

  • long hours (minimum of 8 hour shifts or more but up to 24+ hours during initial attack)
  • irregular hours and days
  • shift work
  • multiple and consecutive assignments away from local unit up to 14 days
  • pace of work typically set by emergency situations
  • living out of a backpack for 2 or more weeks
Physical Requirements:
  • using shovels, Pulaskis, power equipment, and other hand tools to construct fire lines
  • lifting and loading boxes and equipment
  • driving/riding for long hours
  • flying in helicopters/fixed wing airplanes
  • working both independently and in teams
  • wearing PPE (hard hat, boots, eyewear, ear plugs, fire shelter, etc.)
  • extensive walking, climbing, hiking, kneeling, stooping
  • deploying and pulling hose
  • providing rescue or evacuation assistance
  • very steep terrain
  • rocky, loose, or muddy ground surfaces
  • thick vegetation
  • down/standing trees
  • wet leaves/grass
  • varied climates (cold, hot, wet, dry, humid, snow, rain)
  • high elevation
  • heights
  • holes and drop offs
  • very rough roads
  • open bodies of water
  • isolated/remote sites
  • night time working with headlamps
Physical Exposures:
  • light (bright sunshine, UV)
  • burning materials
  • extreme heat
  • airborne particles
  • smoke, fumes, gases
  • falling rocks and trees
  • allergens
  • loud noises
  • wildlife, insects, poisonous plants
  • trucks and other large equipment
  • close quarters, same people, limited/disrupted sleep
  • hunger, irregular meals, dehydration

DNR provides fire crew members with required safety clothing and Personal Protective
Equipment (PPE). This clothing is expected to be worn during regular work hours and must be
worn while firefighting. Crew members are required to wear lace-up boots with Vibram
soles and constructed entirely of heavy leather that extends a minimum of 8 inches
above the heel cup (inside of boot).
DNR will reimburse (as approved) up to $350 (with
original receipt) for the cost of pre-approved boots. Other clothing, such as rain-gear, coats, hats etc., must be provided by
the individual.

Job training will be provided for all firefighter positions at DNR. This training will take place at one of the agency's fire academies. The academies provides meals and tent-style camping for all participants and has a duration of 7-14 days.



  • Must be age 18 and possess a high school diploma or equivalent at the time of hire.
  • Must have a valid driver's license and two years of driving experience.
  • Must have an acceptable driving record free of serious traffic violations (for specifics see application form below).
  • Ability to act promptly and use good judgment in emergencies, and deal tactfully with the public.
  • Must pass the DNR work capacity test or "Pack Test" during the selection process and prior to starting work.
  • Must complete and pass IS-700.b and ICS-100 courses (see supplemental information below)
WILDLAND FIREFIGHTER JOB DESCRIPTION                                               
  • Prepare themselves for fire duty, maintain assigned equipment and vehicles for fire readiness.
  • Safely respond to wildland fire to suppress and prevent them from spreading.
  • Perform entry-level wildland fire duties including hand-line construction, water handling, general suppression and prevention activities or training.
  • When not engaged in wildland fire preparedness and suppression, Forest Firefighters will perform tasks such as thinning and pruning trees for watersheds and protection of wildlife, and maintain recreation sites, buildings, grounds, roads and equipment.  
  • Wildland Firefighter is an entry-level position. Previous natural resource experience is not required.
  • Upon hire, basic wildland fire training is provided.
  • Certificate of completion for the ICS-100 and IS-700.b courses (due on or before the WCT)
  • Previous natural resource experience.
    • Experience and knowledge of safe chainsaw operation
  • Previous firefighting experience.
    • Knowledge of wildland fire pre-suppression, suppression  tactics and fire behavior recognition
    • Experience with firefighting safety techniques, practices, terminology, equipment, fire weather, communications, maps/compass/GPS skills and situational awareness
    • Experience of water delivery hydraulics, equipment usage, pumps and tools
  • Trained to a NWCG "Red Card" qualification level of Firefighter 1
  • Efficient organizer and effective communicator, especially in stressful situations
  • Knowledgeable about safe operation of ATVs/UTVs, off road vehicle operation
FIREFIGHTER - salary range is: $2,572 - $3,556 per month or $14.78 - $20.44 per hour.
  • Overtime is paid at the rate of time and one-half in excess of 40 hours worked per week.
  • For all hours worked under the Incident Command System, two dollars ($2.00) is added to an employee's regular hourly rate of pay.
  • Typical work is an 8-hour day, five days a week. Positions may require response during off-duty hours and weekends for emergency fire suppression needs.
  • Returning agency employees may be eligible for health and dental coverage.
For applicants meeting position qualifications and who may be considered for an interview, you will be required to provide a current Employment/Commercial driving record issued from every state you possessed a driver's license in during the last three years. Details on how to obtain this record from Washington State can be found on the Department of Licensing website at:  You will have two weeks (14 days) from the request date to provide the driving records. If you do not provide a copy of all driving records for the last three years within that two week period, your application will not be considered.  You may attach a current, 3 year (3 years from date of submission of the application, may not be an older copy) driving abstract to this application. 
  • A copy of your driver's license
  • Certificate of course completion for IS-700.b and ICS-100. General information about these courses is included in this announcement.
  • Completed Waiver and Release Form.
  • Completed Health Screening Questionnaire (HSQ). 
  • Employees must furnish proof of eligibility to work in the United States.

Supplemental Information

9571 North Fork Rd
Yakima WA, 98903
Jason Hoerner Superintendent
Work- 509-965-0624
Carson Zepp Crew Foreman
Work- 509-965-0624

Firefighter Crew Member and Squad Boss candidates (regardless of work experience with DNR) who receive a contingent employment offer, must provide copies of their certificates of completion for these two courses prior to or on the day of the work capacity testing. Failure to do so will disqualify candidates for employment in these positions. If you have previously taken and received credit by DNR for these courses, you will not have to retake the courses or submit a certificate of completion.
During the DNR Work Capacity Testing for wildland Firefighters and Squad Boss, safety is of primary importance and concern. An element of safety is personal physical fitness and is important for co-worker safety, personal safety and health and for efficient fire line operations. The "Pack Test" is a work capacity test that measures aerobic capacity, muscular strength, and muscular endurance. Firefighters, strike team leaders, line scouts, and others assigned arduous duty must be prepared to work in steep terrain; and in extreme temperatures, elevation, and smoke-while maintaining reserve work capacity to meet unforeseen emergencies.
Firefighter and Squad Boss candidates must pass the arduous fitness level by completing a 3-mile hike with a 45lb pack in 45 minutes. The test is Pass/Fail only. Failure to pass will disqualify candidates for employment in these positions.
Prior to reporting for work, applicants are strongly encouraged to train for arduous level work capacity.  However, before you begin to train for testing or before substantially increasing your level of activity please review the health screening questionnaire (HSQ) and consult your health care provider if necessary.  You may contact DNR Recruiting at  for a copy of the HSQ.  

For more specific information about DNR Uplands Regions and how to contact those regions, please visit