Forest Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisors

Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security > Emergency and Fire Management Services

Projected Growth: Average

Projected Job Openings

Medium Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Supervise fire fighters who control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

Common job titles of Forest Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisors include:

Experience and Education

Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

  • 29.51% said they needed a Associate's Degree.

  • 18.66% said they needed a High School Diploma.


    Maintain fire suppression equipment in good condition, checking equipment periodically to ensure that it is ready for use.

    Maintain knowledge of forest fire laws and fire prevention techniques and tactics.

    Serve as a working leader of an engine, hand, helicopter, or prescribed fire crew of three or more firefighters.

    Train workers in skills, such as parachute jumping, fire suppression, aerial observation, or radio communication, in the classroom or on the job.

    Inspect stations, uniforms, equipment, or recreation areas to ensure compliance with safety standards, taking corrective action as necessary.

    Communicate fire details to superiors, subordinates, or interagency dispatch centers, using two-way radios.

    Perform administrative duties, such as compiling and maintaining records, completing forms, preparing reports, or composing correspondence.

    Operate wildland fire engines or hoselays.

    Schedule employee work assignments and set work priorities.

    Drive crew carriers to transport firefighters to fire sites.

    Evaluate size, location, and condition of forest fires.

    Request and dispatch crews and position equipment so fires can be contained safely and effectively.

    Investigate special fire issues, such as railroad fire problems, right-of-way burning, or slash disposal problems.

    Monitor fire suppression expenditures to ensure that they are necessary and reasonable.

    Regulate open burning by issuing burning permits, inspecting problem sites, issuing citations for violations of laws and ordinances, or educating the public in proper burning practices.

    Educate the public about forest fire prevention by participating in activities, such as exhibits or presentations or by distributing promotional materials.

    Lead work crews in the maintenance of structures or access roads in forest areas.

    Direct investigations of suspected arson in wildfires, working closely with other investigating agencies.

    Observe fires or crews from air to determine firefighting force requirements or to note changing conditions that will affect firefighting efforts.

    Review and evaluate employee performance.

    Recruit or hire forest firefighting personnel.

    Recommend equipment modifications or new equipment purchases.

    Identify staff training and development needs to ensure that appropriate training can be arranged.

    Direct and supervise prescribed burn projects and prepare postburn reports, analyzing burn conditions and results.

    Monitor prescribed burns to ensure that they are conducted safely and effectively.

    Appraise damage caused by fires and prepare damage reports.


Wind gauges

Wildland fire engines

Water tenders

Two way radios

Tractor-mounted mowers

Tracked bulldozers

Surveillance binoculars

All Tools


Safety goggles

Pyrotechnic flares

Pulaski tools


Power pumps

Portable pumps

Portable meteorological stations

Portable low-pressure pumps

Portable diaphragm pumps

Portable centrifugual pumps

Personal computers

Passenger vans

Navigation compasses

Multipurpose fire extinguishers

Mobile data computers

McLeod tools

Marsh rigs

Laptop computers

Hard hats

Global positioning system GPS receivers

Fuel trucks

Foam pumps

First aid kits

Fire shelters

Fire resistant gloves

Fire resistant clothing

Fire hose nozzles

Fire axes

Farm tractors

Falling saws

Equipment transport trailers

Drip torches

Crew transport buses

Chain saws

Backpack pumps

Backfiring fusees

All terrain vehicles ATV



ESRI ArcView


Fire incident reporting systems


Mapping software

Resource Ordering and Statusing System ROSS

All Technologies

Wildland Fire Assessment System WFAS



Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Management of Personnel Resources

Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Teaching others how to do something.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.


Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Operation Monitoring

Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Operation and Control

Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Quality Control Analysis

Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.


Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

See details at a distance.

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Far Vision

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

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