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Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists Career

Career Description

Enforce fire regulations, inspect forest for fire hazards and recommend forest fire prevention or control measures. May report forest fires and weather conditions.

What Job Titles Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists Might Have

  • Fire Lookout
  • Forest Officer
  • Forest Ranger
  • Ranger

What Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists Do

  • Relay messages about emergencies, accidents, locations of crew and personnel, and fire hazard conditions.
  • Direct crews working on firelines during forest fires.
  • Estimate sizes and characteristics of fires, and report findings to base camps by radio or telephone.
  • Administer regulations regarding sanitation, fire prevention, violation corrections, and related forest regulations.
  • Extinguish smaller fires with portable extinguishers, shovels, and axes.
  • Locate forest fires on area maps, using azimuth sighters and known landmarks.
  • Maintain records and logbooks.
  • Examine and inventory firefighting equipment, such as axes, fire hoses, shovels, pumps, buckets, and fire extinguishers, to determine amount and condition.
  • Direct maintenance and repair of firefighting equipment, or requisition new equipment.
  • Restrict public access and recreational use of forest lands during critical fire seasons.
  • Patrol assigned areas, looking for forest fires, hazardous conditions, and weather phenomena.

What Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists Should Be Good At

  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists Should Be Interested In

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

What Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists Need to Learn

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Median Salary: $36,230

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.