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BC Wildfire Service accepting applications for next summer

In anticipation of summer 2022, the BC Wildfire Service is seeking to hire wildfire firefighters across the province.

The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) is looking for a few good people to battle blazes next summer.

Positions are open from Port Alberni on Vancouver Island to Invermere, closer to the Alberta border and 33 other locations across B.C.

All told, 1,600 people will need to be hired before next year's fire season begins and applications are being accepted until Jan. 16, 2022.

"Are you a physically fit, motivated, team-oriented individual looking for a challenging and dynamic opportunity? The British Columbia Wildfire Service is accepting applications for Fire Crew Member positions," states the online job description.

BCWS has a mandate to deliver effective wildfire management and emergency response and these positions are also responsible for maintaining the readiness of fire equipment and resources as well as taking aggressive action on fires in a safe and effective manner.

Most BCWS fire crews begin work in late April or early May and work until the end of August, with some crews working into September, or even October, depending on fire conditions and activity.

Fire crews typically work during the hottest part of the day and when they are fighting active fires can work up to 14 days without a break.

Wildfire firefighters earn between $23.96 and $27.03 per hour but there is isolation pay for certain parts of the province.

New this year, however, is the need to show proof of a COVID vaccination along with a complete fitness assessment, a self-assessment of ability, and if invited to training camp in the spring, prospective employees will need to obtain a physician’s release.

The job posting also states, "candidates should be flexible to changes in responsibilities, be able to work extended hours with limited notice, to fly in an aircraft, to travel and overnight in remote locations, maintain a training certification for the position, work under stressful conditions with smoke, heat, and mountainous terrain in isolated conditions, and complete a security screening requirement."

Otherwise, the only requirement is a secondary school certificate or the equivalent combination of education and experience.