Northern Region Fire Hiring

Permanent Fire Positions

Hiring for permanent Wildland Firefighter positions happens year-round in a phased approach.

The Northern Region fills 150 to 200 permanent wildland fire positions across National Forests and Grasslands in north Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota. Specialized positions include dispatch, engine crews, fire and fuels management, hotshot crews, hand crews, helitack, smokejumpers, and prevention. Hiring for vacancies in these permanent positions takes place in four phases throughout the year.  See below for the timeline.

Hiring Phase Positions Announcement Opens Announcement Closes Selection Period Start Date (est. no later than)
2024 Hiring Phase 1 (Centralized Hiring event) GS-9 and Below Vacant Positions Aug. 31, 2023 Sept. 29, 2023 Nov.-Dec. 2023 Mar. 2024
2024 Hiring Phase 2 Target Grade GS-10 and Above Dec. 2023 Dec. 2023 Jan.-Feb. 2024 Apr./May 2024
2024 Hiring Phase 3 Target Grade GS-5 and Above Feb. 2024 Feb. 2024 Apr. 2024 June/July 2024
2024 Hiring Phase 4 Target Grade GS-9 and above May 2024 May 2024 July 2024 Sept. 2024

Notes: Dates are subject to change; please review the job announcement in USAJOBS for Open and Close Date.

Please review Outreach Notices posted in Forest Service Outreach Database; Single Vacancy Positions at a lower grade may be filled outside of the centralized hiring event as need arises.

Centralized Hiring Event includes backfilling of currently encumbered positions. Please refer to the Centralized Fire Hire link for more information on specific vacancy announcements filled during this event.

Northern Region 1 Fire Hire 2024
Outreach Notice — Wildland Firefighter Permanent Positions

GS-0462-03 through GS-0462-09
August 15, 2023

The US Forest Service Northern Region is outreaching for the yearly hiring event known as “Fire Hire”.
Announcements will be opening soon in USAJOBS for many permanent wildland firefighter positions for the 2024 fire year.
Application Period: August 31st, 2023 – September 29th, 2023

The Northern Region fills 200+ permanent wildland firefighter positions across 10 National Forests and Grasslands in Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota. Specialized positions include dispatch, engine crews, fire and fuels management, hotshot crews, hand crews, helitack, smokejumpers, and prevention.  All positions could engage in a spectrum of fire management activities including, contributing to fire suppression efforts, performing project work such as fuel inventories, preparing associated reports, and hazardous fuels reduction projects.  Region 1 will be filling permanent full time and permanent seasonal fire and fuels positions ranging from GS-03 to GS-09.

The Fire Hire process is used to standardize hiring of permanent wildland firefighter positions to provide consistent practices around the Region and throughout the agency.  Fire Hire is currently utilizing a Direct Hire Authority, which has been granted by OPM for the Forest Service to fill critical positions in an accelerated manner.  The announcements are open to the public, but many require NWCG qualifications.  Each announcement will define what the requirements are.

The vacancy announcements for these positions will be posted on the US Government's official website for employment opportunities at USAJOBS.

USAJOBS Search Tips

All Fire Hire specific announcements can be searched in USAJOBS by keyword 24-FIRE
Applicants may also search by City, State (duty location).

Applicants are encouraged to apply to any position and duty station you may be interested in, as those positions may become vacant throughout the Fire Hire process.

The announcements listed in this outreach will be part of national and multi-regional announcements, pay close attention to duty location selections. Announcements will not be available in USAJOBS until the opening date of August 31, 2023.

2024 R1 Fire Hire positions and Vacancy Announcement numbers

Application Period: August 31st, 2023 – September 29th, 2023

Aviation / Helitack / Smokejumper

Fire Hire 2024 Announcements USAJOBS Vacancy Announcement
Airtanker Base GS-5 24-FIRE-P1GVA-AIRTNK-5DH
Airtanker Base GS-6/7 24-FIRE-P1GVA-AIRTNK-67DH
Airtanker Base Assistant Manager GS-7/8 24-FIRE-P1GVA-AIRTNK-78DH
Airtanker Base Manager GS-8/9 24-FIRE-P1GVA-AIRTNK-89DH
Air Tactical Group Supervisor (ATGS) GS-8/9 24-FIRE-P1GVA-ATGS-89DH
Helitack Senior Firefighter GS-4/5 24-FIRE-P1GVA-HTKSRFF-45DH
Helitack Squad Leader GS-6/7 24-FIRE-P1GVA-HTKSQLR-67DH
Helitack Assistant Manager GS-7/8 24-FIRE-P1GVA-HTKASST-78DH
Helitack Manager GS-9 24-FIRE-P1GVA-HLTKMGR-9DH
Smokejumper GS-5/6 24-FIRE-P1GVA-SMKJMPR-56DH
Smokejumper Squad Leader GS-7 24-FIRE-P1GVA-SMKJMP-7DH
Smokejumper Spotter GS-7/8 24-FIRE-P1GVA-SMKJMP-78DH
Smokejumper Assistant Manager GS-8/9 24-FIRE-P1GVA-SSMKJP-89DH


Fire Hire 2024 Announcements USAJOBS Vacancy Announcement
Initial Attack Dispatcher GS-4/5/6/7 24-FIRE-P1GVA-IADIS-4567DH
Dispatch Assistant Center Manager GS-8/9 24-FIRE-P1GVA-IADISP-89DH


Fire Hire 2024 Announcements USAJOBS Vacancy Announcement
Engine - Senior Firefighter GS-4/5 24-FIRE-P1R146-ENGSRFF-45DH
Engine - Assistant Fire Engine Operator GS-5/6 24-FIRE-P1R146-AFEO-56DH
Engine - Fire Engine Operator GS-6/7 24-FIRE-P1R146-FEOH-67DH
Engine - Supervisory Fire Engine Operator GS-7/8 24-FIRE-P1R146-SFEOH-78DH


Fire Hire 2024 Announcements USAJOBS Vacancy Announcement
District Fuels Technician GS-6/7 24-FIRE-P1R146-DFUEL-67DH
District Fuels Specialist GS-8 24-FIRE-P1R146-FFUELS-8DH

Handcrew / Hotshot / Fire Use Module

Fire Hire 2024 Announcements USAJOBS Vacancy Announcement

Handcrew / Hotshot - Senior Firefighter GS-4/5


Handcrew / Hotshot - Squad Leader GS-5/6


Handcrew - Squad Leader GS-6/7


Hotshot - Squad Leader GS-6/7


Handcrew - Supervisory GS-7/8


Hotshot - IHC Assistant Superintendent GS-7/8


Hotshot – IHC Superintendent GS-9


Fire Use Module - Assistant Lead GS-7/8


Fire Use Module - Leader GS-8/9


Wildland Firefighter – Entry Level / Apprentice

Fire Hire 2024 Announcements USAJOBS Vacancy Announcement

Wildland Firefighter - Wildland Fire Apprentice GS-3/4/5


District/Zone Assistant Fire Management Officer

Fire Hire 2024 Announcements USAJOBS Vacancy Announcement

District/Zone AFMO (High Complexity) GS-8/9


District/Zone AFMO (Moderate Complexity) GS-8/9 24-FIRE-P1GVA-DZAFMOM-89DH
District/Zone AFMO Fuels (Supervisory) GS-8/9 24-FIRE-P1R146-DFUELS-89DH

Job Corps

Fire Hire 2024 Announcements USAJOBS Vacancy Announcement

Job Corps Assistant Fire Management Officer GS-8/9


The Process and Timeline

  • August 1, 2023 – Outreach.  In addition to this outreach, units may outreach for currently vacant permanent fire positions utilizing the same vacancy announcement numbers.
  • August 31, 2023 ─ Vacancy Announcements OPEN in USAJOBS.
  • Applicants are encouraged to apply for multiple locations (where they would accept a position if offered), even if positions for certain locations in which you are interested are not listed as vacant. Vacancies may occur during the hiring process and could be filled during Selection Week.
  • September 29, 2023 ─ Vacancy Announcements CLOSE.
  • To be considered for these announcements during the centralized fire hire event, applicants must complete the application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date.
  • October 3, 2023 – HR Qualification Review period begins.  Applicants may receive qualification review notices from USAJOBS / HR in this timeframe.
  • November 13, 2023 – Hiring Managers will begin the hiring process.
    All applicants who have applied to the announcements on or before the listed closing date and are found to be qualified will be referred for consideration. Applicants should check the status of their application during this time in USAJOBS.
  • November 13 – 17, 2023 ─ Reference checks and possible interviews (this timeframe is an estimate).  Monitor your email for an automated request to provide references and notify your supervisors they will be getting reference check requests.
  • November 13 – December 8, 2023 ─ Selections.  Representatives from each unit will make recommendations for hiring.  It is critical to be available via phone and email during this time.
  • December 2023 – March 2024 – HRM Processing.  Selected applicants will be processed through onboarding including personnel security, background checks, drug testing, etc. as required.
  • March 2024 ─ Anticipated effective date (report to duty).

Direct Hire Authority

These Wildland Firefighter positions are filled utilizing a Direct-Hire Authority.  All applicants who meet the minimum qualifications, to include any selective placement factor(s), if applicable, will be referred to the selecting official.
Preference Eligibility (Veterans Preference), Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA), and traditional rating and ranking of applicants is not applicable within Direct Hire Authority.

Who May Apply

Applications can be submitted from any U.S. citizen. Interagency Fire Program Management (IFPM) and Forest Service - Fire Program Management (FS-FPM) qualifications must be met by the time of selection. Most recent IQCS master record and/or signed Agency Certified task book must be attached to your application.

Applicants may still be referred even if they do not meet IFPM qualifications at the time of application submission, but they will be required to submit an updated IQCS master record and/or signed Agency Certified task book at time of selection to show they do meet the qualification requirements.

Transfer of Station and Incentives

Transfer of Station expenses will most likely not be offered for selected candidates in Region 1.  Selected applicants may qualify for incentives in accordance with agency policy.

How to Apply

Thoroughly read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.  Address specialized experience in your resume as denoted in “how you will be evaluated”.

Create a USAJOBS account

(If you do not already have one) at As part of your profile, set up automatic email notification to be informed of status of your application as it changes.  Without automatic notification, you must log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.

Create a Resume with USAJOBS or upload a Resume into your USAJOBS account.

Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have that directly relate to the position to verify qualifications are met.  Your resume must directly support your responses to the online questionnaire.  Preview the questionnaire at the link at the end of the “How You Will Be Evaluated” section.

Apply Online

Within the vacancy announcement for which you are applying, click “Apply Online”.  Follow the prompts to complete the Questionnaire, to attach documentation, and to submit. Your application and attached documents can be edited anytime while the announcement is open by selecting “Update Application” under "Application Status".
The following documents are examples of what may be required and/or attached to constitute a complete application package.  It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents are current copies, correctly attached, within the required timeframe, and legible. Read the entire announcement for requirements.

  • Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience, including start/stop dates and hours worked per week; and, 5) other qualifications (including IQCS/IQS Master Record). Check supervisor emails to ensure they are updated and correct.
    • Applicants should include a COVER LETTER outlining their current situation, desired/acceptable location(s), current home and work address, and any additional information to assist the hiring managers in making decisions.  Resumes should include document headers with the applicant name.
    • If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document.
  • IQCS Master Record showing your current training and qualifications.
  • College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or you are substituting education for specialized experience.

Human Resources Office Contact Information

HRM Contact Center
Phone: 877-372-7248 Option 2
TDD: 800-877-8339

Things to keep in mind when applying

  • Vacancy Announcements in USAJOBS will give examples of specialized experience for each position. Ensure your resume matches the listed specialized experience requirement in plain language. This should be listed under a work experience that shows title, series, grade, and time period (include dates and hours/week) performed so HR can properly credit.  If you possess specialized experience outside your current series and grade, identify that separately for credit.
  • Ensure all required documents are attached to your application.  Review them for accuracy and currency.  Ensure you have a current IQCS Master Record.
  • Allow adequate time to apply for positions.  The USAJOBS application process takes time and detailed attention to requirements.

Other places to get further information

Copy and paste the below form into a new email to the appropriate contact. Outreach responses should go directly to the Fire Management contacts for each Forest/Grassland and District listed in the R1 Forest and Grassland Contacts.

Print this form (opens PDF)

Fill out outreach form electronically  (Word docx)

Northern Region Permanent Fire Hire
Outreach Reply

If interested in any of these positions, send the following information to the respective contacts for the duty location(s).

Respond if you are interested in a currently vacant position as well as a position that may become vacant through the Fire Hire process.  Your response is important for supervisors to know applicants interested in their positions and allows you the opportunity to learn more about the position prior to being filled.

Personal Information:





Current title/series/grade:

Do you qualify for the 0462 Series?        □ Yes   □ No

Are you a current permanent Federal employee?        □ Yes   □ No

If YES, current Agency and location:

Current Red Card Qualifications:

Outreach responses should go directly to the Fire Management contacts for each Forest/Grassland and District listed below. Specific information about the position(s) and duty location(s) is available from the units.  Your response is important if you are interested in filling a position through the Fire Hire process.

Northern Region Offices

  • Aerial Fire Depot – Charles Savoia
    • Missoula Smokejumper Base – 406-329-4894
    • Missoula Tanker Base – Jared Bohrman 406-829-7328
  • Beaverhead-Deerlodge – Joe Sampson / Eric Reiner
    • Anaconda Job Corps – Monica Thomas 406-546-0695
    • Butte Jefferson District - Kevin Smith DFMO 406-491-0202
    • Dillon District – Aaron Knudson DFMO 775-846-3056
    • Wisdom/Wise River District – Richard Griffin DFMO 406-925-1951
    • Wise River Helitack – Bert Smith FAO 406-660-7371
    • Madison District - Jim King DFMO 406-682-4253
    • Pintler District – Jerod Russell DFMO 208-946-6803
    • Dillon Interagency Dispatch – David Mosher 406-683-3991
  • Bitterroot – Matt Young
    • Stevensville District - John "Jay" Wood DFMO 406-777-7436
    • Darby / Sula Districts – Zach Lee DAFMO 406-821-4280
    • West Fork District – Bret Lewis DFMO 406-821-1247
    • Trapper Creek Job Corps – Craig McDonald Job Corp FAFMO 406-821-2159
    • Bitterroot IHC – Cache Gibbons 406-821-4253
    • Bitterroot Helitack – Josh Woodard Asst. Superintendent 406-529-2713
    • Hamilton Interagency Dispatch – Kevin Kratsch Asst. Center Manager 406-363-7133
  • Custer-Gallatin –Scott Schuster
    • Ashland District - Scott Studiner DFMO 406-784-2344
    • Beartooth District - Jeff Flick DFMO 406-446-4538
    • Bozeman / Hebgen Districts – Rob Spence DAFMO 406-640-0810
    • Yellowstone / Gardiner Districts – Zac Krohn DFMO 406-223-0140
    • West Yellowstone Smokejumper Base - Eric Held 406-646-7691
    • Sioux District – Jason Donahey 605-797-4432
    • Gallatin Valley Rappelers – Curtis Parkhouse 208-859-7838
    • Billings Interagency Dispatch – Angie Pollock 406-896-2900
  • Dakota Prairie – Lee Nelson or Zac Thompson 605-677-9445
  • Flathead – Rick Connell 406-758-5261
    • Hungry Horse / Glacier View District - Andy Huntsberger DFMO 406-387-3833
    • Spotted Bear District - Jim Flint DFMO 406-758-6471 / 406-387-3845
    • Swan Lake - Brett Pargman DAFMO 406-837-7549
    • Tally Lake District - Manny Mendoza DFMO 406-758-3522
    • Flathead Helitack – Tom Rawlings 406-387-3864
    • Flathead IHC – Shawn Borgen 406-387-3836
    • Kalispell Interagency Dispatch – Sarah Whetzel 406-758-5260
  • Helena - Lewis and Clark – Kendal Wilson / David Nunn
    • Belt Creek / White Sulphur Springs District - Kip Colby DFMO 406-547-6015
    • Helena District - Mike Kaiser DZFMO 406-495-3931
    • Townsend District - Cody Crismore DFMO 406-266-3425
    • Judith-Musselshell District - Matt Plagenz DZFMO 406-566-2292
    • Lincoln District - Jarel Kurtz DFMO 406-362-7031
    • Rocky Mountain District - Kyle Inabnit DFMO 406-562-3247
    • Helena IHC - Fred Thompson 406-495-3921
    • Lewis and Clark IHC – Nick Wydra 406-791-7788
    • Helena Aviation Center/Central Montana Helitack – Bjorn Troberg FAO 406-495-3832
    • Helena Interagency Dispatch – Kim Beaver 406-449-5475
    • Great Falls Interagency Dispatch – Travis Collier 406-731-5311
  • Idaho-Panhandle – Mike Behrens / Shawn Pearson
    • Bonners Ferry District - Mitch Prophet 406-291-3750
    • Coeur d’ Alene District - John Heyn DAFMO 208-659-5254 / Ryan Nipp DAFMO 208-659-1921
    • Priest Lake District - Glen Palfrey 208-443-6824
    • Sandpoint District – Robert Burnside DFMO 208-217-8311 / Bryce Barth DAFMO 208-449-2950
    • St. Joe District – Greg Juvan DFMO 208-245-6012 / Jerrod Scheffelmaier DAFMO 208-245-6218
    • Panhandle Helitack – Randy Gaulrapp 208-920-0077
    • Coeur d’Alene Interagency Dispatch – Melanie Roose 208-762-6915
  • Kootenai – Dan Rose 406-283-7742
    • Cabinet District - Dusty Pierson DFMO 406-827-0709
    • Libby District - Brent Cooper DFMO 406-283-7597
    • Rexford District - RJ McDole DFMO 406-296-7138
    • Three Rivers District - Beau Macy DAFMO 406-295-7477
    • Kootenai Interagency Dispatch – Jacob Jeresek Deputy Fire Staff 406-283-7795
  • Lolo – Greg Jacobson 406-329-1089
    • Missoula District - Jesse Kurpius DFMO 406-329-3852
    • Ninemile District – Teo Digiando DFMO 406-626-5420
    • Plains District - Trevor Unsworth 406-826-4325
    • Seeley Lake District – Adam Carr DFMO 406-677-3916
    • Superior District – Lorie Cotter DFMO 406-822-3916
    • Lolo IHC – Shawn Faiella – 406-329-3808
    • Missoula Interagency Dispatch – Maria Helterline 406-829-7070
    • Lochsa District - Sean Gaines DFMO 208-926-6419
    • Moose Creek District - Jon Norman DFMO 208-926-8948
    • North Fork District – Aaron Skinner DFMO 208-476-8206
    • Palouse District – Alan Carlson DFMO 208-875-1702
    • Powell District – Brandon Cichowski DFMO 208-942-0344
    • Red River District – Craig Roach DFMO 208-842-2123
    • Salmon River District – Matt Myers 208-839-2102
    • Grangeville Interagency Dispatch – Adam Warren 208-983-6800

For questions regarding overall Fire Hire process, contact Tiffany Counts at or 406-241-8305