McCall Smokejumper Recruitment & Employment

The McCall Smokejumper Base is searching for wildland firefighters who are interested in becoming Smokejumpers. This page contains information to help you apply for temporary Smokejumper positions with the McCall Smokejumpers in the United States Forest Service Intermountain Region, Payette National Forest.

Smokejumper positions are not entry-level firefighting positions. All applicants must meet specific medical, physical, and firefighting work experience requirements to be considered for these positions. Candidates must be in top physical condition and capable of performing arduous duties. Any physical problem sufficient to impair efficiency or endanger fellow workers will disqualify the applicant.

Applicants must meet the minimum 90 days of wildland fire experience and have 12 months of qualifying experience at the GS-04 level. However, due to the quantity of applicants, quality applicants are encouraged to have at a minimum 3-4 years of fire experience with a diverse background of work experience on a good organized crew such as hotshot, helitack, engine, and Type 2 Initial Attack crews, qualified to the FFT1 and ICT5, possess leadership experience, and have a safety conscious attitude.

If you lack this required fire experience, you may want to consider applying for a position on an Interagency Hotshot Crew or a district engine, helicopter, or fire suppression hand crew. These crews receive valuable training and experience in fire suppression work. There are numerous crews located throughout the United States with the majority being in the West. For information, contact your local job service, USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, or National Park Service office, or check out USA Jobs for current openings in the GS-0462 job series.

2020 Job Opportunities:

All GS-5 temporary and detail rookie smokejumper announcements are now closed for the 2020 fire year.  Those who applied can expect their applications reviewed on or around January 13, 2020 with job offers expected in early February 2020.  

Recruitment period: Recruitment generally begins with outreaches in August.  Job announcements come out in September or October.  Announcements are generally open for 15-30 days.  If you are interested in applying visit USA Jobs for current job openings.  You will need to create an account (if you don't have one already) and an applicant profile.  After you create your profile type in the word 'smokejumper' in the search bar to see a list of current job announcements.  

Entry grade level: GS-0462-5 ($16.27/hr.)

Employment period: May to September.  Selected applicants should receive an offer of employment in early February.  Upon reporting for duty you must satisfactorily complete six weeks of intensive training in parachute jumping, physical conditioning and fire suppression. 

Helpful hints for applying:

  • You must indicate the base(s) you are applying for.
  • Before submitting your application be sure you have marked all boxes and check all basic qualifications on your application for correct answers.  
  • If you are new to smokejumping make sure you are applying for a GS-5 rookie smokejumper position.  
  • Make sure to include your e-mail address is on your application in order to receive confirmation of your application acceptance and any possible hiring correspondence.  

For questions contact Todd Haynes, 208-634-0381 or Jeff Schricker, 208-634-0380. 

Pay and Subsistence

Smokejumper candidates are hired at the GS-5 level ($16/hour). Overtime hours are paid at one and one-half the hourly base rate. Smokejumpers also receive hazard duty pay where applicable under USDA Forest Service pay regulations.

Employees must provide their own subsistence while working out of the base at McCall. On fire or project assignments away from the base, subsistence allowances are provided by the government. Keep in mind it will take approximately four weeks to receive your first paycheck, so you must have sufficient funds to support yourself during this time.


McCall Smokejumper
Para cargo is dropped for smokejumpers on the Salmon-Challis National Forest.
McCall Smokejumper
A McCall smokejumper jumps a wildfire.