Forest Fire Fighter

Battle to put out forest fires.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$23,000 – $75,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Forest Fire Fighters do?

When a stray spark or lit match gets out of control and threatens whole areas of wilderness, Forest Fire Fighters are the ones called to get things under control. Just like the Firefighters found in cities, Forest Fire Fighters use different techniques to put out and contain fires in the wild before they can destroy too much land or property.

You need some serious strength and guts to do the hot, smoky, and dangerous job of a Forest Fire Fighter. Unlike house fires that can burn out after a few hours, forest fires can last for days or even weeks. Not only do they have a seemingly inexhaustible supply of fuel, but they’re also nowhere near water sources that can put them out. In fact, it takes thousands of gallons of water dumped from a helicopter to put these fires out.

Until the helicopter arrives, you’re the one on the ground containing the fires. And after a fire ends, you don’t get out of the area right away. Instead, you patrol the land to see if there are any “hot spots,” which are basically areas that aren’t completely cooled and, under the right conditions, can restart a fire.

When not actively fighting fires, you spend your time like Smokey the Bear, preventing them. To do this, you work with other crewmembers to clear dead trees and brush that can serve as fuel for future fires. You cut these dead trees down and clear them out so as to create space between trees. This makes it easier to contain a fire since you’ve deprived it of sufficient fuel.

Should I be a Forest Fire Fighter?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Fire Fighter, Airport, Fire Fighter/EMT, Forest Firefighter, Hot Shot, Suppression-Crew Leader, Wildland Fire Fighter

    How to become a Forest Fire Fighter

    Forest Fire Fighters often have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:o9mcda&chl=bachelor%27s+%2815%25%29|no+college+%2865%25%29|certificate+%2813%25%29|associate%27s+%283%25%29|master%27s+%284%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,15,65
    Schools close to

    You May Also Like

    Careers Similar to Forest Fire Fighter