What was the most money you made in 1 fire season? What location of the United States did you work.
Also, were you on a hotshot crew, hand crew, fuels crew or engine crew?
This question is mainly directed towards federal wildland firefighters.
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Thread: Most $ made in a fire season?
05-17-2012, 02:34 AM #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
Most $ made in a fire season?
05-24-2012, 02:31 PM #2
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
Contract Engine Boss here. During my first year as Engine Boss in 2007 I had a daily rate of $325. I had a fairly good season and earned around $15,000 with only 1.5 months on the fireline. Since then my daily rate has gone up to $500, so if I have a similar season I would earn around $23,000 in 1.5 months. A full three months on the fireline would be over $40,000.
05-24-2012, 05:38 PM #3
- Join Date
- May 2012
- Northern California
Assuming you are curious what you could make if you work as a seasonal for one of the agencies.
I don't think you will really get a meaningful answer just based on $$$ because it is really apples and oranges, there is a huge variety of factors, pay grade, qualifications etc, and the actual fire season plays a huge part.
What I can tell you is that as a seasonal firefighter working a whole 5-6 month season for the US Forest Service in R3 (Arizona / New Mexico) or R5 (California) an engine crewmember can pretty regularly expect to work 200-500 hours of OT, a hotshot crew member 500-1000 hours of OT. A type 2 crew or helitack crew would fall somewhere in between.
A GS-3 (usual for a 1st year seasonal) currently makes $12.74/hr, a GS-4 (usually 2nd year +) makes $13.41/hr. They work a 40 hour week.
To answer your question, I really don't know what my best year was but I have made $70,000-80,000 in particularly good years. I'm an Engine Captain at the USFS in California so I work year round, not 6 months which adds considerably to the end of the year total.
05-24-2012, 06:07 PM #4
I ran a Helo Ops trailer. $2,500 a day and the feds used it a lot. Mostly Montana and Idaho. A good season we had it out on the line for 64 days total.Respectfully,
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