If you want to be a wildland firefighter, now's the time to apply | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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If you want to be a wildland firefighter, now's the time to apply

Now is the time to apply for BC WIldfire fighter positions for the 2020 season.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / BC Wildfire Facebook page
November 27, 2019 - 6:30 AM

Interested in becoming a wildland firefighter in British Columbia? Now is the time to act.

The B.C. Wildfire Service employs around 1,000 firefighters annually. Applications are now being accepted for next year’s season with a Jan. 12, 2020 deadline.

Fire Information Officer Erika Berg says the application process isn’t just a matter of dropping off a resume or completing an application.

“You would be going through fitness testing to ensure you can handle the strain that comes with battling wildfires. They are really long days in environments that aren’t always the most comfortable, so we have boot camps. I went out to one in Merritt this spring, to see what the new recruits were up to. It’s intense. They build a great camaraderie, but it’s really intense work,” Berg says.

She says the service is looking for people who are strong both physically and mentally.

Applications can be filled out and submitted online. No paper applications are accepted. Applicants will be expected to show motivation, have a relevant skill set, and complete two fitness tests.

Applicants for initial attack, rappel and parattack crews must also possess a first aid certificate recognized in British Columbia, in addition to possessing valid Canadian driver’s license equivalent to B.C. Classes 7 and 5.

Online applications open in November, followed by the mid-January deadline. Interviews take place at various locations in B.C. through February and new recruits are invited to boot camp in March. Job offers are extended in May.

Additional information on qualifications and frequently asked questions can be found at the wildfire fighters website.

"Other positions in the B.C. Wildfire Service, including communications, dispatch and other seasonal jobs have different application timelines," says fire information officer Kayla Pepper.

More information on those positions can also be found at the Employment with BC Wildfire website.

During the fire season that just ended in B.C., wildfires burned 21,138 hectares in 781 fires across the province.

Fire activity was considered reduced when compared to the previous two seasons, in a summer that had adequate rainfall for the most part, and a lack of hot summer days.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to tips@infonews.ca and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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