Recruitment Has Begun For The 2019 Wildfire Season

By Olivia McDonald
December 6, 2018 - 2:12pm Updated: December 6, 2018 - 5:49pm

PRINCE GEORGE - We may be experiencing sub-zero temperatures this week but that hasn't stopped the BC Wildfire Service from recruiting for next summer's wildfire season. 

The search is on for roughly 150-200 new recruits to fill positions across the province. In the north, fire centre's are looking for roughly half a dozen new firefighters. 

"We look for people that are mentally strong, physically strong and people that really thrive in a team environment. BC Wildfire is a family and you know we all have our part in this big team and so those types of things are what we look for. And people that are open minded, willing to travel, see this beautiful province that we have and meet the incredible people that work for BC Wildfire," says Fire Information Officer, Amanda Reynolds. 

The deadline to apply is January 15th and for those who make it through the initial screening process, that's just the first step. Applicants must also participate in an in-person interview, endure fitness testing and even boot camp. All of which takes place around February. 

Wildfire Assistant, Darrell Johnston says the best part about going through recruitment is the friends you make and the hardest part is the physical testing. 

"My advice would be to just enjoy and wherever your position may take you if you get through, just accept it and enjoy wherever it's going to be. Like we are saying, anywhere in the province you're going to meet great people and have a great experience." 

Work for the new recruits typically starts in early May and goes until the end of September depending on the wildfire conditions. One great benefit of the job is if the recruit has a successful first season, they have the potential of turning it into a year-round job with the BC Wildfire Service. 

Although the past two wildfire seasons were the worst in provincial history, Reynolds says they aren't adding extra staff. Instead, she says they're preparing in other ways. 

"For the next season what we are really focusing on is people getting prepared themselves. So really looking at their properties and fire smarting because you know we can't change the climate we can't change the topography but the one thing we can manage is fuel." 

Online applications can be submitted through the BC Wildfire Service website now until January 15, 2019.


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