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Forest Fire Inspector/Prevention Specialist

What They Do

Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists Career Video

About This Career

Enforces fire regulations, inspects forest for fire hazards, and recommends forest fire prevention or control measures. May report forest fires and weather conditions.

This career is part of the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security cluster Emergency and Fire Management Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Relays messages about emergencies, accidents, locations of crew and personnel, and fire hazard conditions.
  • Estimates sizes and characteristics of fires, and reports findings to base camps by radio or telephone.
  • Conducts wildland firefighting training.
  • Locates forest fires on area maps, using azimuth sighters and known landmarks.
  • Directs crews working on firelines during forest fires.
  • Extinguishes smaller fires with portable extinguishers, shovels, and axes.
  • Patrols assigned areas, looking for forest fires, hazardous conditions, and weather phenomena.
  • Compiles and reports meteorological data, such as temperature, relative humidity, wind direction and velocity, and types of cloud formations.
  • Examines and inventories firefighting equipment, such as axes, fire hoses, shovels, pumps, buckets, and fire extinguishers, to determine amount and condition.
  • Educates the public about fire safety and prevention.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Fire Operations Forester
  • Forest Officer
  • Forest Patrolman
  • Fire Prevention Technician
  • Wildfire Mitigation Specialist
  • Wildfire Prevention Specialist
  • Fire Prevention Officer
  • Fire Management Officer
  • Fire Technician
  • Forestry Patrolman


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733