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Santa Fe National Forest to hire Vets for temp fire duty

By Santa Fe National Forest 

SANTA FE, NM – February 15, 2018 – For Immediate Release. The Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest seeks to hire five Veterans to form a crew in support of wildland fire operations for three or more months beginning in May.

Duty location is the Pecos District Ranger office in Pecos, NM, and work will primarily be in support of the hazardous fuels program. VIWF crew members will earn Federal Civil Service pay and benefits at the GS-3 pay grade, and receive crew housing if needed.

The Santa Fe National Forest’s Veterans in Wildland Fire (VIWF) – Hazardous Fuels Program 2018 is an opportunity for Veterans, following their return from the combat zone, to re-assimilate to civilian life by becoming trained wildland firefighters. The program can also “open doors” to other hiring opportunities in federal government, or elsewhere. Wildland firefighting can be physically challenging, and requires a mental “toughness” inherent of many Veterans.

The VIWF crew’s primary purpose is to perform thinning, hand-piling, limbing and brushing vegetation, assist with prescribed fire implementation, prepare prescribed fire burn units for implementation and monitoring. Focus areas are Rowe Mesa, where the VIWF crew will help improve fuels, range and wildlife habitat conditions, while protecting and/or improving other resources such as archaeology and watershed.

There can also be opportunities for the VIWF crew to spend time with resource specialists and receive an orientation across other Forest Service work areas. This may include working with wildlife crews during surveys (e.g. owls, fish, etc.), recreation crews with campgrounds and facilities, range crews to ensure livestock-grazing compliance and/or fence maintenance, weed-removal crews, and/or archaeology site surveys, etc.

Work is very rewarding and positions can fill quickly. For more information, call (505) 757-6121 or email mburton@fs.fed.us or jjulian@fs.fed.us. For general information on the Santa Fe National Forest go to https://www.fs.usda.gov/santafe.

Apply Now! Veterans in Wildland Fire (VIWF) – Hazardous Fuels Crew – Santa Fe, NM

The Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest seeks five Veterans as temporary employees (GS-3 pay grade) in 2018 for at least three months, tentatively starting in May, to focus on hazardous fuels project implementation. The duty station for the VIWF crew is at the Pecos/ Las Vegas Ranger District Office in Pecos, NM, and includes housing. The VIWF crew could possibly be extended beyond the three months through other funding sources.
Upon arrival, the VIWF crew will receive training in basic firefighting and take the Work Capacity Test (WCT) in order to obtain red cards with at least a Firefighter 2 (FFT2) qualification. The Forest will also provide proper personal protective equipment, chainsaw training, safety training, field equipment, and a vehicle for official use.

WHAT: Will acquire Wildland Firefighting Fundamentals and assist with prescribed fire implementation

WHEN: Approximately May through July, but may stretch longer depending on funds

WHERE: Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District, Pecos, New Mexico

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Submit resume, DD214, and transcripts (if available) by midnight, March 16, 2018 to contacts listed at the bottom of the announcement.

TRAINING OFFERED:
I-100 Introduction to Incident Command System (required pre-work)

S-130 Basic Wildland Fire Fighting
S-190 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior
L-180 Basic Fire Leadership
S-212 Wildfire Power saws

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: This is a physically arduous job. Applicant must be able to pass the WCT that requires completion of a three-mile hike with 45 lb. pack in 45 minutes or less. The job will also require the applicant to work outdoors in possible harsh, inclement weather on possibly uneven ground. The VIWF crew’s primary purpose is to perform thinning, hand-piling, limbing and brushing vegetation, assist with prescribed fire implementation, prepare prescribed fire burn units for implementation and monitoring. The focus areas are in Rowe Mesa, where the VIWF crew will help improve fuels, range and wildlife habitat conditions while protecting and/or improving other resources such as archaeology and watershed. There may be opportunities for the VIWF crew to spend time with resource specialists and learn about other Forest Service work areas. This may include work with wildlife crews during surveys (e.g. owls, fish…), recreation crews with campgrounds and facilities, range crews to ensure livestock-grazing compliance and/or fence maintenance, weed-removal crews, and/or archaeology site surveys, etc. Applicants must arrive with wildland fire boots, commercially available from various sources that are a minimum eight inches high, leather lace-type with skid resistant soles (Vibram). Slips and falls account for more than 15 percent of all injuries in wildland fires, so non-slip soles are essential. Steel-toed boots are not recommended for firefighting because of the potential for heat transference on the burned ground. Upon arrival to duty, we will assist the crew member with reimbursement up to $300 for the boots. Boot receipt is required.

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