The Wildland Fire Division posts all seasonal job announcements on the Bureau of Human Resources website and the State of South Dakota seasonal application form is used to apply. All applications must have the correct requisition number and be sent to the correct location for the position.
Announcements are usually posted in late December or early January and interviews are conducted in April for the coming fire season. We typically recruit applicants for positions on the Bear Mountain and Black Hat Handcrews; Lead, Rapid City, Custer State Park, and Hot Springs engine crews; aviation; and dispatch. Depending on winter staffing levels, we may hire as many as 49 seasonal employees each spring.
Our typical season is mid-May through early September each year. Some employees may work earlier or later depending on conditions and need.
All applicants must be age 18 by date of hire and a valid driver's license is required for employment. Housing is the responsibility of the employee, unless otherwise noted. Transportation to and from work and associated costs is the responsibility of the employee.
These positions are considered Public Safety Sensitive Positions and are subject to a pre-hire drug screening.
Positions require employees to work holidays, weekends, and irregular or rotating shifts. Night and weekend work is required as well as being available for occasional out-of-state fire assignments for up to 14 days.
Preference will be given to applicants possessing National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) wildland fire certifications (S-130, S-190, L-180, etc).
Engine and Crew
The duties of engine and crew positions will be assisting division chiefs, battalion chiefs, crew bosses, and squad bosses in wildland fire management activities - suppressing wildland fires in the Black Hills area, presuppression activities (equipment maintenance, fuel reduction projects, fire prevention), participate in fire training and prescribed burning projects, and facilities maintenance as part of an engine crew or 20 person Handcrew.
The applicants we seek to recruit should have the ability to perform strenuous physical labor, maintain equipment, and operate 4x4 vehicles with automatic or manual transmissions. All employees must be physically able to lift 75 pounds and able to pass the current arduous physical fitness standard (pack test) for wildland firefighters. Seasonal firefighters also use chainsaws to clear brush and fell trees on fuels mitigation work.
The duties of dispatch positions will be working under the supervision of a dispatch supervisor on the initial attack floor at the Great Plains Dispatch Center in Rapid City.
Applicants must have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively over the phone and on a two-way radio console. Employees will be required to answer phones, take messages, pass on messages, and follow instructions and protocol as required by the supervisory dispatcher. Applicants need to possess a working knowledge of computer software such as the MS Windows operating system and MS Office Suite including Word, Excel, and Outlook.
The duties of this position will be assisting the aviation operations officer and Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) base managers in maintaining SEAT bases in Pierre, Lemmon, Buffalo, and Hot Springs during fire season.
The applicants should have the ability to perform strenuous physical labor, maintain equipment, operate 4x4 vehicles with automatic or manual transmissions. All employees must be physically able to lift 50 pounds and must have the ability to be able to communicate clearly and effectively over the phone and on a two-way radio console. Employees will be required to answer phones, take messages, pass on messages, and follow instructions and protocol as required by the SEAT manager. Applicants need to possess a working knowledge of computer software such as the MS Windows operating system and MS Office Suite including Word, Excel, and Outlook. Any experience in the general aviation field is preferred for these positions.