Officials from the Los Padres National Forest will appear at San Marcos Fire Station this weekend to encourage and assist individuals seeking wildland firefighting jobs with the U.S. Forest Service.
The fire station is located at 5398 East Camino Cielo Road and will be open Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Staff will answer questions about forest firefighting jobs and the day-to-day duties of firefighters while introducing the equipment and facilities they use.
According to Los Padres Public Affairs Officer Andrew Madsen, work with the U.S. Forest Service includes several other duties in addition to fighting fires.
“We switch to what we can do for the public trails, campgrounds, all the stuff that we can do for the public, in order to be stewards of the land,” Madsen said.
Santa Barbara Ranger District Division Chief Dana D’Andrea said not all new recruits are hired directly into the fire department.
The Los Padres National Forest is hiring forest service members for six-month, part-time positions during fire season. D’Andrea said the part-time positions offer important work experience as well as exposure to other aspects of the Forest Service. Prospective applicants may also apply for permanent positions.
D’Andrea said attendees of the informational event will learn about the demands of the job from station employees, who often are called to travel across the country when an emergency arises.
“We will explain the different things that go on, things they have to do and [see if they] would like this job of going to a fire any given moment to Idaho and be gone for 21 days. We are a national resource. When Katrina hit we were called up for that, too.”
Applicants of all academic backgrounds are welcome. The Los Padres National Forest covers about 1.75 million acres including parts of Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Louis Obispo and Kern County.