What does a Forest Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisor do?

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

Jobs Roles

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