To become a wildland firefighter to participate on a forestry crew to fight wildland fires out of state you must do the following:
- Complete the National Wildfire Coordinating Group's I100 Incident Command, L180 Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service, S130 Firefighter Training, and S190 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior. See the training section for more information.
- Pass the Work Capacity Test. The work capacity test is an annual physical fitness test. It consists of walking 3 miles with 45lb vest in under 45 minutes. This is an annual test.
- Submit a Health Screen Questionnaire.
- Complete an Informed Consent form.
- Participate in an annual refresher.
The crews are gone for up to 18 days at a time. Additionally they can be sent anywhere in the country. Your are required to be part of the crew the entire time. Disciplinary issues are not tolerated and may result in you being sent home at your expense. You will be required to read and know the crew operation manual.
Specialized firefighting equipment is provided for the duration of the mobilization. Items like boots, gloves and eye protection are required and provided by you. Check with the IDNR Forestry Wildland Fire Manager for equipment specifics.
Typically crews are made available for national mobilization form mid-June through mid-September.
There are opportunities for individuals to mobilize as a "single resource". Typically this requires additional specialized training. For more information on single resource contact the Forestry Fire Program Manager.
The introductory fire training can be completed with most of the classes being done electronically and a one day field day.
Contact the Forestry Fire Program Manager at 217/785-8774 for the training information. Additionally there are regional training academies including Big Rivers Forest Fire Management Compact's Wildland Fire Training Academy each fall in Southern Illinois.