The purpose of the Women In Fire Fellowship is to prepare the candidate for entry or mid-level Fire and Aviation Management (FAM) positions with the US Forest Service or other partner agencies. The Women in Fire Fellowship trainee participates in wildland fire operations to include prescribed fire and wildfire suppression. When conditions are not conducive for fire-related work, the trainee will participate in stewardship activities such as invasive species removal, timber stand improvement, monitoring, and other projects. This is a grant funded, US Forest Service interagency partnership project, funded for up to one year. This crew member position is full time, year around for the period of the grant.
The Women in Fire Fellowship trainee will gain hands-on experience in the preparation and implementation of prescribed fire, wildfire suppression tactics and techniques, safely operating and maintaining equipment, invasive plant management, timber management, and monitoring/inventory activities. This rich and diverse field experience will be supplemented by an accelerated training program consisting of formal and informal training related to FAM and best management practices used in the central hardwoods for the restoration and maintenance of oak/hickory forests and woodlands, glades, barrens, hill prairies and other native ecosystems. The trainee will work alongside a cadre of mentors from TNC and the US Forest Service. In addition, they shall work to build and maintain relationships within our organization and partnership with the US Forest Service, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Southern Illinois Prescribed Burn Association, and others. This may include participation in wildland fire suppression activities in partnership with other non-profits, local fire departments, and local, state and federal agencies, either as a TNC employee or short-term employee of the partner entity (such as an administratively determined, short-term federal employee). This position will pay $16.00 to 17.50 an hour.
WE’RE LOOKING FOR YOU
- Performing difficult work in extreme weather conditions, remote locations, and hazardous environments and terrain.
- Working long days (10-16 hours) under physically and mentally demanding circumstances while assisting with prescribed fire and wildfire suppression. Some fire assignments require out-of-state travel for up to 2.5 weeks (optional).
- Maintaining a high level of situational awareness and safety-first mindset to identify and mitigate potential hazards to ensure firefighter and public safety.
- Working as a team with crewmates, partners, and collaborators in a dynamic and high stress environment.
- Maintaining flexibility to ensure preparedness for time sensitive work, frequent changes in tasks and/or roles, scheduling field work around unfavorable weather or field conditions, and working within varying frameworks of supervision and command structure.
- Completing a final project that addresses a problem or knowledge gap within FAM.
- Supporting prescribed burning operations by assisting in the preparation of burn units and implementation of fire. Preparation involves creating and maintaining fuel breaks with chainsaws, leaf blowers, brush cutters/string trimmers, and hand tools, in addition to mitigating snags (dead trees) on the perimeter of the unit. Implementation involves ignitions, holding, suppression, cold trailing, mop-up, and monitoring.
- Supporting wildfire suppression within the incident command structure to facilitate direct and indirect attack, structure prep/defense, holding, cold-trailing, mop-up, and monitoring.
- Treating non-native invasive species (NNIS) of plants using chemical and mechanical methods that involve the use of backpack sprayers, UTV mounted pump sprayers, hand pulling, chainsaws, and brush cutters.
- Conducting timber stand improvement projects by felling understory and mid-story trees with a chainsaw to meet silvicultural and ecological objectives.
- Conducting fire-effects and NNIS monitoring/inventory to determine the effectiveness of treatments, ecological responses, and location/extent of infestations.