Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program

The Wildland Firefighter Apprentice Program is an educational program designed to enhance and develop future Fire and Aviation Managers.

Operating as usual


The closeout of Advanced Academy 81 has commenced this morning at 0900 Pacific Time. The students and staff have pioneered the very first virtual WFAP program with 72 apprentices. Congratulations to everyone!! *See comments below for more photos and quotes from the event!*


Warning: Video content contains really bad Dad Jokes. You might want to view it 🙂

This week Dr. Todd Miner is teaching WFAP Apprentices a variety of First Aid skills specific to remote settings with limited resources. Dr. Miner is the Wilderness Medicine Section Education Director at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He also tells great Dad Jokes.

Here is a video clip he shared with the class today about a creative way to make a patient carry-out litter. This example uses shirts and sticks. What are some improvised litters you have seen or practiced with on the fireline?


Apprentices are getting the hang of virtual learning in week two of Advanced Academy 81. Today the Redmond Hotshots are leading a virtual S-230 Crew Boss course. The “classroom” is highly interactive, with frequent small-group discussions and activities, as well as complementary resources and interactive content on the Wildland Fire Learning Portal.

[01/11/21]   One week away from the beginning of Advanced Academy 81!


We wish you all a safe and Happy New Year!


We want to wish you Happy Holidays from all of us at the WFAP! We look forward to seeing you in the New Year.


Check out this great resource in how to navigate usajobs.gov to find the job you want to apply for as hiring still continues for wildland fire jobs.

Interested in an exciting career in wildland firefighting?
Learn how to search for federal jobs on the USA Jobs website:


For additional information and employment assistance videos, visit:


#NotYourOrdinaryJob #FireJobs
USAJOBSU.S. Forest ServiceBureau of Land Management Fire and AviationBIA Forestry and Wildland Fire ManagementNational Park Service Fire and Aviation ManagementNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)USFWS Fisheries


Virtual Learning
The WFAP has sought the expertise of a few folks to help us develop our academy sessions into a virtual delivery. Gina Wilson and James Wheeler have answered the call! These two, and several others in collaboration, are helping lift the heavy load of turning what has been primarily an in-person, on-location academy into lessons that can be accessed in an online format. Computer based programs that they are working with include: The Wildland Fire Learning Portal, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom among others.
Thank you Gina and James for sharing your time and talent in helping us make this transition!


Training Specialists

When the Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program training season is underway, the academy has a structure like that of a Type 3 fire organization. The Training Specialists act as the Incident Commander of the academies while they are in session. These folks are detailed into these positions and oversee the staff, which includes a number of Logistics personnel, crewbosses and the apprentices that are in-house, whether in Sacramento, CA, Solon Dixon Forestry Center in Alabama, or the Guardian Center located in Georgia, or in a virtual setting that the advent of this year’s global pandemic has necessitated. The implementation strategy is going to prove a challenge, but this group is at the helm developing an academy experience that will be as functional, engaging and fun as the current circumstances can allow.
Please meet your staff.


The Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program, while in training season, is an enormous undertaking that requires time commitment collaterally from interagency fire personnel across the nation.
At the core of the WFAP is a small group of permanent staff. These people work directly for the US Forest Service's Washington Office and are working year-round to coordinate, collaborate, plan and hire to ensure this Nationally provided training program continues its 30+ years of developing today’s young firefighters into tomorrow’s leaders. Meet your permanent staff!

nafri.gov 09/30/2020

Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program Website

As with many other training centers, we are moving the academies to virtual/distance learning. Please head over to our website to read the memo with more details as well as to see the new academy dates.

We are excited as we all take on this new endeavor of distance learning and look forward to seeing you all this winter!




Our are hearts are broken in hearing the news about the passing of Charlie Morton. Charlie was a WFAP graduate of Advanced Academy 53 in 2011. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family, friends and co-workers on the Big Bear Hotshots. Take care of one another.

Sharing our deepest sympathies from Chief Vicki Christiansen:

“Thursday evening we lost one of our own. Charlie Morton, Squad Boss for the Big Bear Interagency Hotshot Crew of the San Bernardino National Forest, was tragically killed during efforts to suppress the El Dorado Fire on their home unit. Our hearts go out to Charlie’s loved ones, friends, coworkers and the Big Bear Hotshots.”

usajobs.gov 09/17/2020

USAJOBS - The Federal Government's official employment site

As hiring season is upon us, make sure you are looking at www.usajobs.gov for positions you are interested in and set up notifications for those positions. In addition, check the Forest Service Hiring page for webinars and other hiring information on a regular basis. Good luck!


usajobs.gov Search and apply for federal jobs. Learn about unique hiring paths for veterans, students and graduates, individuals with a disability, and more.

fs.usda.gov 09/15/2020

Hiring & Recruitment Events | US Forest Service

Hiring is happening along with webinars to help you....Today there is a Tips for Job Seekers at 1300- 1400 MDT and many more throughout the rest of the month. Check out this website for all of the upcoming webinars https://www.fs.usda.gov/working-with-us/jobs/events

fs.usda.gov We are the Forest Service You can make a lasting impact on the world around you and unlock opportunities for professional growth and career advancement. Find out more about our available job openings. Learn More >> Join Our Webinars Tips for Job Seekers Tuesday, September 15, 2020 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p...

usajobs.gov 09/15/2020

Forestry Technician (Apprentice)

If you are interested in working in Colorado as an apprentice make sure to apply today as the application period closes today 9/15.


usajobs.gov Job Corps graduates of fire certified programs are encouraged to apply. This position is located in the Rocky Mountain Region, Region 2. The purpose of the position is wildland fire suppression/management/control as a specialized firefighter on an engine, helitack module, or hand c...

fs.usda.gov 09/03/2020

Hiring & Recruitment Events | US Forest Service

If you don't know your way around usajobs.gov make sure to check out today's webinar offered by the Forest Service Hiring Team from 3 - 4 Mountain Time.


fs.usda.gov We are the Forest Service You can make a lasting impact on the world around you and unlock opportunities for professional growth and career advancement. Find out more about our available job openings. Learn More >> Join Our Webinars How to Write a Federal Resume: An Interactive Workshop for Applican...

wildlandfirelearningportal.net 09/02/2020

Wildland Fire Learning Portal: Log in to the site

For all those apprentices attending academies this upcoming training season.....your pre-work is now available on the Wildland Fire Learning Portal (https://wildlandfirelearningportal.net/login/index.php)
Once you've been place in an academy you will gain access to your appropiate prework.



Resume writing workshop is today! Make sure to check it out if you can.


Check out these upcoming webinars available for those interested in applying for fire positions. These webinars are very helpful whether you're a current federal employee or not....so check them out!


We are rescheduling our upcoming fall academies to spring 2021 to allow for more time for the WFAP staff to plan amidst all things COVID. Here is the updated schedule, we will update our website soon to reflect the changes:


6 Minutes For Safety

Today starts the annual Wildland Firefighter Week of Remembrance dedicated to all those who have fallen in the line of duty and intended to serve as an opportunity to renew our commitment to the health, wellness, and safety of wildland firefighters.

Use the safety messages as a foundation for respectful dialogue and discussion. Apply these lessons to yourself, your crew, your team, and your unit. Ask yourself this…”How can I turn these lessons into learning?”

Today is dedicated to the Granite Mountain Hotshots.
Never forgotten.

#WeekofRemembrance #honorthroughlearning


This is the week of remembrance

Take a moment to consider what this day means to you.

#WeekofRemembrance #honorthroughlearning


Have you added this to your IRPG yet? If not, here is link to download it.

Download the Fire and COVID-19 Briefing Checklist to supplement fire and operational briefings and encourage open and honest discussion to help protect yourself, your crew, and your camp. The orange decal will be available to order through cache system by mid-July. https://www.nwcg.gov/publications/461
National Interagency Fire Center
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
National Association of State Foresters
IAFC - International Association of Fire Chiefs


Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

Have you read the latest blog post by the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center? If you have, what are your thoughts? If not, take a read and let us know what you think.

“The following thoughts and observations are derived from my own perspective that is based on 25 seasons filled with two shelter deployments, plenty of near misses, getting hit with branches because I was mesmerized by how awesome falling a burning snag is, falling asleep while driving, falling out on hikes (because I suck at hiking, smoke too much). Oh yeah, as well as one divorce and four or five failed relationships.”


Here is what one crew is doing this fire season. What are others trying out?

The crew is done with the Little Book Cliff Fire. It was a good fire to do a test run of our logistical planning. There was a push for crews to be more self sufficient this year with food. There are few things more important on a hotshot crew than good nutritious food. Besides helping recovery and fueling crew members through strenuous days, good food is tied to high morale and attitude. These are things we knew when we started the planning process in late March. An aspect we had maybe forgot about though and are starting to see the benefits of, is the social part of cooking and sharing meals. With strong team cohesion being one of the most important traits of the most successful teams around the world, cooking together is another good way to strengthen the team’s cohesion.
With limited time, efficiency in everything has been the number one priority for all designs and plans. We took an enclosed trailer and built it into a small cook shack where we can do our food prep while having to get as little out as possible. Meal planning and shopping efficiency for 20 people for several days was going to be another logistical hurdle. To deal with it we have an excel sheet where meals are selected on one page and an organized shopping list with the combined ingredients for all meals are generated. There’s also a bulk item list we can check quantities of items we might already have on hand before purchasing more. The Excel sheet is stored in a personal Onedrive account and is shared between crew members who will do the shopping. With the Onedrive and Excel apps cellphones work as shared shopping lists between a couple of shoppers. Some sample screenshots are showing sort of how it works are included in this album. The last important piece is a hard copy cookbook along with a meal planner so the cooks know which meals to cook and what quantities of ingredients they’re allowed to use.


Are you interested in working as a staff member for the Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program? Positions are being advertised for upcoming 2020/2021 academy season!
Considering applications for Logistics Staff, Crewbosses and Assistant Crewbosses, as well as Course Instructors for classes that we provide for the apprentices. Please see the staff application at this link



We are currently outreaching for all staff positions for FY21 Academies (Operations, Logistics Positions, Single Resource Boss and Assistant Single Resource Boss). If you're interested in leading and have a desire to mentor others, please consider applying.

You can apply on the Wildland Fire Learning Portal (https://wildlandfirelearningportal.net/course/view.php?id=414), and search for:

Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program FY21 Staff

fs.usda.gov 04/28/2020

Careers in Wildland Fire | US Forest Service

FYI Hiring is currently going on for permanent fire positions.

Check out this website for more information:


nafri.gov 04/13/2020

Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program Website

With all the academies finished for the year, the WFAP is already starting to plan for next year.

Dates for next year's academies and the curriculum that will be taught is available for viewing at our website. So head on over to see what courses will be offered and when!



wildfirelessons.wordpress.com 03/19/2020

Thinking Outside the Stratosphere

Something to think about....

wildfirelessons.wordpress.com This article is about preparing for wildland firefighting in the midst of a pandemic.


The students and staff of FA 11


Burning out and going direct on simulated wildfires during FA 11 skills day.


In S244, FA 11 students learn FOBS skills, including creating paper and electronic maps.


FA 11 students practice small group leadership skills as they are faced with various physical and mental challenges during L280.


Region 8's extensive longleaf pine forest range. Less than 5% of precolonial stands of this highly diverse, fire-dependent forest remain today.

For those interested in more southern pine and longleaf pine information, a few links, courtesy of John at the Solon Dixon center:

List of National Forests in Alabama's publications, field guides, history, public info, and more:

Silvics Manual (for more southern pine info)

Schwarz, GF. 1907. The longleaf pine in virgin forest; a silvical study

Longleaf Alliance, Inc.

Croker and Boyer. 1975 – Regenerating longleaf pine naturally

Videos (show all)

Core 79 Aviation Week, Day 1
Physical fitness testing
Core Academy 79
Introduction to Fuels
A simulated medical emergency was played out by all four crews in the scenario today.  Swift action on the fire line is ...
Long line helicopter operations during Field Day for #FA4
Cargo net assembly for long line operations during Field Day for #FA4.
Helicopter Awareness briefing at FA4
Field Day for #FA4 on the simulated Blue Ridge Fire.  All the tools the apprentice’s have been given over the course of ...
Pull ups




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