Career profile: Fire warden
The fire warden career profile notes that it's an administrative position involving the planning, direction and supervision of all activities in regards to the protection of U.S. Forest Service properties from forest fires
If you're considering a career as a fire warden, you should gather all of the information available about this important position in the field of forest fire control. It's a great career choice for anyone with good supervisory and planning skills who loves spending time in the great outdoors and wants to be involved in protecting America's forests from destruction by fire.
The fire warden career profile notes that it's an administrative position involving the planning, direction and supervision of all activities in regards to the protection of U.S. Forest Service properties from forest fires.
It's the responsibility of a fire warden to plan, oversee and direct programs in forest fire prevention. The fire warden inspects large tracts of government forest land for hazards such as the accumulation of combustibles. If found, the fire warden would take steps to direct the clearing of dead and dry underbrush, dead trees and other materials that could be fuel for forest fires.
They also inspect forest tracts for unsafe logging practices that could pose fire hazards. Other fire dangers that a fire warden looks for are unsafe use and storage of fuels, chemicals and solvents and unshielded motorized equipment and automobile exhausts that could cause a fire.
Fire wardens are responsible for upholding and enforcing all federal and state fire regulations in National Forest areas. They patrol federally owned forest lands to ensure that laws aren't being broken and are authorized to carry a gun and make arrests.
A fire warden also coordinates with state and federal law enforcement agencies regarding any violations of laws, regardless of whether the laws involve fire infractions or fire danger. They also prepare reports and make recommendations to federal law enforcement agencies concerning the creation of new fire laws for protecting public lands.
Another aspect of a fire warden career profile involves ordering, inspecting and maintaining all firefighting equipment and supplies. These include fire trucks, hoses, axes, pumps, protective fire gear and fire extinguishers. The responsibility of ensuring that the firefighting department has all equipment and supplies in good repair, accessible and in a state of readiness to fight fires rests with the fire warden.
In the case of extreme fire danger in federal forest lands, the fire warden restricts public access and recreational use until the fire danger has passed. In the event of a forest fire, the warden directs crew leaders in their firefighting efforts and coordinates the supply, distribution and reordering of firefighting tools and equipment.
The salary of a fire warden ranges from $26,000 to $48,000 a year, with the average being $30,770, according to the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The outlook for job growth in the profession is moderately good and job conditions are considered favorable, with the only downside being unusually long hours in the event of a fire emergency.