Veterans recruited by Forest Service for wildland firefighter crews

The Coconino National Forest’s Veterans in Wildfire program is hoping to give veterans the camaraderie many of them seek after leaving the military

By FireRescue1 Staff

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The U.S. Forest Service is seeking veterans to fill wildland firefighter positions.

KVOA reported that the Coconino National Forest’s Veterans in Wildfire program aims to give veterans the camaraderie they often seek after exiting the military, according to fuels crew assistant Captain Corey Wilson, who is also a veteran.

“One of the things a lot of veterans miss is that brotherhood, having that close group of friends that you laugh, cry with, have right there for you,” Capt. Wilson said. “That camaraderie of working with 10 other people all summer long, you wake up, eat breakfast with them, work all day with them, eat dinner with them.”

The Coconino National Forest hired 15 veterans in 2017, and they welcome more applications for 2018.

“They can simply bring in a resume and we can hire them under the Veterans’ Recruitment Authority,” Forest Fuels Specialist Vic Morfin said. “Unfortunately, we tend to see probably 10 times more males apply and our program is open to both.”

Morfin said veterans can use the job as a stepping stone to other possibilities.

“They may choose to be a wildland biologist. A lot of our veterans are interested in law enforcement,” Morfin said.

The Forest Service said applications can be dropped off at a local office, or you can apply here.

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