Career summary

Details for Forest Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisors


Description

Supervise fire fighters who control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

Tasks

  • Communicate fire details to superiors, subordinates, or interagency dispatch centers, using two-way radios.
  • Evaluate size, location, and condition of forest fires.
  • Serve as a working leader of an engine, hand, helicopter, or prescribed fire crew of three or more firefighters.
  • Maintain fire suppression equipment in good condition, checking equipment periodically to ensure that it is ready for use.
  • Train workers in skills such as parachute jumping, fire suppression, aerial observation, or radio communication, in the classroom or on the job.
  • Request and dispatch crews and position equipment so fires can be contained safely and effectively.
  • Operate wildland fire engines or hoselays.
  • Recruit or hire forest firefighting personnel.
  • Maintain knowledge of forest fire laws and fire prevention techniques and tactics.
  • Monitor prescribed burns to ensure that they are conducted safely and effectively.
  • Direct and supervise prescribed burn projects and prepare postburn reports, analyzing burn conditions and results.
  • Schedule employee work assignments and set work priorities.
  • Identify staff training and development needs to ensure that appropriate training can be arranged.
  • Monitor fire suppression expenditures to ensure that they are necessary and reasonable.
  • Drive crew carriers to transport firefighters to fire sites.
  • Inspect stations, uniforms, equipment, or recreation areas to ensure compliance with safety standards, taking corrective action as necessary.
  • Regulate open burning by issuing burning permits, inspecting problem sites, issuing citations for violations of laws and ordinances, or educating the public in proper burning practices.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as compiling and maintaining records, completing forms, preparing reports, or composing correspondence.
  • Review and evaluate employee performance.
  • Recommend equipment modifications or new equipment purchases.
  • Investigate special fire issues, such as railroad fire problems, right-of-way burning, or slash disposal problems.
  • Lead work crews in the maintenance of structures or access roads in forest areas.
  • Educate the public about forest fire prevention by participating in activities such as exhibits or presentations or by distributing promotional materials.
  • Observe fires or crews from air to determine firefighting force requirements or to note changing conditions that will affect firefighting efforts.
  • Direct investigations of suspected arson in wildfires, working closely with other investigating agencies.
  • Appraise damage caused by fires and prepare damage reports.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Related careers

  • Forest Fire Fighters
  • Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists
  • Municipal Fire Fighters
  • Municipal Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisors
  • Ship and Boat Captains
  • Transit and Railroad Police
  • Transportation Vehicle, Equipment and Systems Inspectors, Except Aviation