Firefighter I is a seasonal, temporary classification used by CAL FIRE. As a member of a fire crew, a Fire Fighter I fights wildland, rural, and structural fires and responds to various other emergency situations including medical emergencies. Additional responsibilities include repairing equipment and general station housekeeping.

Fire Fighter 1 Information and Qualifications

On The Job

Participate in wildland, rural and structural fire suppression. As a member of a fire crew, the employees of CAL FIRE respond to emergency situations, perform heavy physical work and assist in the maintenance of the grounds, equipment and general station housekeeping. Firefighter I is a seasonal, temporary classification. Hiring usually occurs in April, May, or June of each year. The length of employment is typically between six to nine months, depending on the duration and intensity of the fire season. Becoming a Firefighter I is the best way to enhance your career opportunities with CAL FIRE. Salary (Monthly) Base salary $3,443.00 - $4,351.00 Plus $1,710 - $2,161 Extended Duty Week Compensation (paid every 4 weeks) In addition to responding to emergencies, station life includes cleaning fire engines, training, doing laundry, mopping floors, meal preparation, maintenance (engine maintenance, light construction), physical fitness and a review of fire suppression and emergency response procedures. At night, all employees typically sleep in barracks, in dorm-like conditions. While on duty, meals are prepared at the station and everyone takes turns cooking. Each employee pays for all chargeable on-duty meals at the rate equivalent to the average meal cost in the Unit where he/she is employed. You are not charged for meals while committed to an emergency incident. As necessary, your crew will respond to structure fires, wildland fires, medical aids, auto accidents, and other hazardous incidents. Your field duties will require you to work under adverse environmental conditions over extended periods of time. You will be helping to fulfill one of CAL FIRE’s most important responsibilities: protecting the people, property, and resources of the State of California.


You must be 18 years of age at the time of your appointment to Firefighter I. You will be required to follow oral/written directions, do heavy physical work, exercise good judgment in hazardous emergency activities, be willing to live in remote areas and work on weekends/holidays. Being physically fit is vital to your success as a firefighter. The selection process usually occurs during the early months of each year. Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications may be scheduled for interviews to evaluate their ability to perform successfully as a Firefighter I. Successful candidates are placed on a hiring list which is used to fill vacancies.


As a new Firefighter I, you will be required to successfully complete training at a local training academy. It covers safety, the fundamentals of wildland fire control, and the techniques of special f ire control (structures, petroleum, and vehicles). In some areas, the training is given in cooperation with local junior colleges. Contact your local junior college or local CAL FIRE office for information on available training courses.


November 1 to November 30


Between March and June, depending upon the year’s weather conditions.


18 years of age.


Online, by mail, or in person.


Open Firefighter I Positions