Smoke Chaser Career

Job Description: Control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

*A job as a Smoke Chaser falls under the broader career category of Forest Firefighters. The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category. We are still seeking more specific information about this career from experts in this field. If you can provide us with more information, .

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Smoke Chaser Career

What Smoke Chasers do:

  • Extinguish flames and embers to suppress fires, using shovels, or engine- or hand-driven water or chemical pumps.
  • Fell trees, cut and clear brush, and dig trenches to create firelines, using axes, chainsaws or shovels.
  • Collaborate with other firefighters as a member of a firefighting crew.
  • Maintain contact with fire dispatchers at all times to notify them of the need for additional firefighters and supplies, or to detail any difficulties encountered.
  • Maintain knowledge of current firefighting practices by participating in drills and by attending seminars, conventions, and conferences.
  • Patrol burned areas after fires to locate and eliminate hot spots that may restart fires.
  • Participate in physical training to maintain high levels of physical fitness.
  • Operate pumps connected to high-pressure hoses.
  • Establish water supplies, connect hoses, and direct water onto fires.
  • Test and maintain tools, equipment, jump gear and parachutes to ensure readiness for fire suppression activities.
  • Organize fire caches, positioning equipment for the most effective response.
  • Inform and educate the public about fire prevention.
  • Participate in fire prevention and inspection programs.
  • Maintain fire equipment and firehouse living quarters.
  • Transport personnel and cargo to and from fire areas.
  • Perform forest maintenance and improvement tasks such as cutting brush, planting trees, building trails and marking timber.
  • Orient self in relation to fire, using compass and map, and collect supplies and equipment dropped by parachute.
  • Rescue fire victims, and administer emergency medical aid.
  • Take action to contain any hazardous chemicals that could catch fire, leak, or spill.
  • Observe forest areas from fire lookout towers to spot potential problems.
  • Serve as fully trained lead helicopter crewmember and as helispot manager.
  • Drop weighted paper streamers from aircraft to determine the speed and direction of the wind at fire sites.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Holland Code Chart for a Smoke Chaser

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