Wildland Fire Science


Alaska Needs More Wildland Firefighters!

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Wildland Fire Crew is a cooperative agreement between the State of Alaska and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The crew provides on-the-job training to students enrolled in the Wildland Fire Science program. Students will apply classroom knowledge in the field and expand their skill sets. While providing training, the crew will add to the State of Alaska’s fire suppression resources. The crew is based out of the Interior Alaska Campus.

Wildland Fire Science

Occupational Endorsement (O.E.)


Our program provides students with the knowledge and skills to perform at the first level of wildland fire management. Students who complete this occupational endorsement will be well-rounded entry-level firefighters capable of filling positions on wildland fires on in- and out-of-state fire assignments. This program can act as a steppingstone to the Associate of Applied Science degree in wildland fire control.

Wildland Fire Students pose for the camera in helmets

Sifting through the ashes



This is a 20-person Type II hand crew sponsored by the State of Alaska. The crew is available nationally and is on the state’s agency crew rotation list. If there is a short fire season in Alaska, the crew has the potential to be dispatched to the lower 48 or Canada.


To be eligible to be a member of the crew, an individual must agree to the following terms:

  1. Preference will be given to students at UAF
  2. Crewmembers will be required to register for three summer internship credits for the Occupational Endorsement at IAC
  3. Pass a classroom and physical fitness training program
  4. Agree to live and work in Fairbanks, AK for the duration of the fire season (May-September)
  5. Fill out and meet the Condition of Hire Application for the Division of Forestry Alaska Emergency Freighters Program
  6. Be at least 18 years old

Minimum Fitness Standards

  • 45 Pound Pack Test: Walk 3 miles in under 45 minutes.
  • 1.5 Mile Run: 11:40
  • Pull-Ups: 5
  • Push-Ups: 30
  • Sit-Ups: 45

Physical fitness is an important aspect of being a wildland firefighter. The crew will train as a unit on a daily basis while in station. Prospective crewmembers should be working out months before the fire season to be prepared. This will prevent injury and prepare crew members for the arduous nature of the job. Keep in mind that the above standards are MINIMUM for eligibility.

Exercises to focus on: Running, calisthenics (push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups), and hiking with weight.

Fires are typically in remote areas in harsh conditions. You will be sleeping in a tent, cooking over a fire, and spend weeks away from a shower.

A typical fire assignment will last 14 days not including travel time. The work is hard and physically demanding. A standard shift is 16 hours long with meals provided. After a full assignment, the crew will have 2 days off. The crew will be expected to commit to 14-21 days on and 2 off for the duration of the fire season.

Bring in or send your application to the Harper building. 25-30 candidates will be selected for tryouts. 18 individuals will be selected at the end of the tryout period. Selections will be based on fitness, effort, willingness to learn, positive attitude, and mental stamina. Remaining candidates will be alternates on a call-as-needed basis.

 The crew will be on a volunteer/non-paid basis during training and at the home unit. While on a fire assignment, crewmembers will be paid Emergency Firefighter Wages with the State of Alaska. In 2019, crewmember wages were approximately $15.51 per hour. While on a fire assignment, overtime will be made after 40 hours in a week.
A saw team at a wildfire in Alaska
Laying down fire on brush