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Different Types of Wildland Firefighters

Different Types of Wildland Firefighters

There are many areas to choose from when it comes to a firefighting career, but one of the most challenging jobs is that of a wildland firefighter. This position is typically a government position, where you’ll be working for the U.S. Forest Service. It involves a lot of hiking and camping so loving the outdoors is a must. Here are the different types of teams you can join as a wildland firefighter.

Engine Crew

As in any firefighting crew, it’s necessary to be physically fit to be on an engine crew. This team usually has three to ten members and they’re responsible for fire suppression and patrolling. A firefighter certification Texas can help you prepare to join a firefighting team, but remember this is one of the most strenuous jobs in wildland firefighting.

Fuel Crew

This team consists of about ten team members and they focus on fuel, which, in this environment, means trees, shrubs and other forest items. They focus on reducing the amount of fuel available, using chemicals to destroy harmful fuel types and clearing fuel. They may also join in fire suppression when needed.

Hand Crew

Hand crews have about twenty members and focus on creating fire lines, burning out areas and rehabilitating burned out areas. This crew is at the frontline of wildfire suppression, making it a dangerous and necessary position.

Helitack Crew

The helitack crew is specially trained in flying helicopters, rappelling into forests and spraying water or chemicals on wildfires. They are typically first responders to a wildland fire and may have to transport other teams and equipment to firefighting locations.

Hotshot Crew

Hotshot crews are similar to hand crews, but their skills are specialized and used in the most challenging areas of the wildfire. This is a high level firefighting job that requires extreme physical fitness and training, which means there aren’t many in the country. In this position you will most likely have to travel often to help fight fire.

Wildland Fire Module

This crew consists of members who are highly trained in all areas of firefighting, which helps them organize and plan other crews for prescribed burns and wildfires.


This type of firefighter jumps out of an airplane and parachutes down to the scene, making them one of the first to arrive. They need to be highly trained, with previous experience on other teams before they have the ability to fight in this way.

If you’re looking for variety and challenge in your career, this type of firefighting might be the best choice for you.

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