The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages fire safely and cost-effectively to improve the condition of lands while reducing the risk of damaging wildfires to surrounding communities. This balanced approach to fire management benefits people and wildlife.

What We Do

Our Services

USFWS firefighter carefully monitors prescribed fire at Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge in Texas.

Eighty percent of Service lands, from marsh to forest to prairie, evolved with fire and depend on periodic fire to remain productive wildlife habitat. Fire is a vital conservation tool.

The Service’s fire management program has three main areas of focus: 

  •  fuels management
  •  wildfire management
  •  wildfire prevention

By the Numbers

  • 450,000 acres burn in wildfires annually
  • 350,000 acres treated with prescribed fire annually
  • 80% of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands include fire-adapted ecosystems
  • 357 U.S Fish and Wildlife Service fire management professionals

Our Priorities

Prescribed fire is a vital tool for habitat management at Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge in coastal Mississippi and Alabama. 

The priorities for the Service’s fuels management program are:

  • planning prescribed burns strategically to lessen the threat of wildfire and minimize risks to communities
  • applying healthy fire to Service lands to improve habitat for threatened and endangered species and support efforts to recover or avoid listing other vulnerable wildlife species
  • investing in fuels treatment projects to reduce costs of wildfire suppression and rehabilitation
  • maintaining previously completed fuels-reduction projects
  • leveraging funding sources and partnerships
  • enhancing and promoting safety and security on Service-managed lands

Work With Us

Wildland Firefighting… Not Your Ordinary Job

USFWS, Tandem

Working in fire for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is unlike any other wildland fire position you’ve ever had. Among all the Department of the Interior agencies, we are the only agency whose mission focuses solely on the conservation, protection, and enhancement of fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitat. To adequately protect wildlife species and their habitat, we strategically apply prescribed fire across a variety of landscapes which rely on periodic fire for ecological balance. Of all the prescribed fire acres applied across the country, our fire program applies 50% of them (when combining all the Department of the Interior agency acres). When fire season hits, our fire personnel support suppression efforts across the country, traveling to areas many people never get to see.

Firefighters at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia/Florida prepare to cut down hazard trees in a recent prescribed burn prescribed burn
A prescribed burn is the controlled use of fire to restore wildlife habitat, reduce wildfire risk, or achieve other habitat management goals. We have been using prescribed burn techniques to improve species habitat since the 1930s.

Learn more about prescribed burn

As a smaller wildland fire agency, we have the ability to create an inclusive, welcoming fire family that is perfect for those looking to start their fire careers, spend their entire career, or simply find a place where they belong. We can’t wait to work alongside you soon!

For more information about recruitment and our fire program, please see our recruitment rack card (PDF) or Keeping Fire on Our Side (PDF) brochure

Taking care of our own
  • Competitive pay and opportunity for full federal benefits
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness eligibility
  • Retirement eligible after 20 years of service
  • No experience necessary for entry level positions
  • Candidates must be U.S. citizens or nationals
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Must be 18-37 years old at the time of hire—exceptions may apply

Applying for a Fire Job on USAJobs

Applying for a fire job can sometimes be confusing and cumbersome. Luckily, The National Interagency Fire Center has created these helpful video clips to assist with the application process.

Introduction to USAJobs

How to Navigate USAJobs

How to Create a USAJobs Account and Login

How to Build a Government Resume for USAJobs

How to Apply and Upload Documents on USAJobs

How to Personalize and Save a USAJobs search

Navigating Federal Benefits and Human Resources

Social Media

Not only do our national fire program social media pages have a lot of current information, we also advertise vacancies on them. Like and follow our Facebook and Twitter pages to stay updated on what’s open for application!

We also have some great #FireHireTips on what to do, and what not to do, on our social media pages.



Helpful Links

NIFC Careers

Department of the Interior Careers