Burn Crew Member/Women in Fire Fellowship

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The Nature Conservancy

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Chicago, IL, United States

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29 days ago


Caterville, Illinois, USA


The mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we develop innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive. Our work is guided by our values, which include a commitment to diversity and respect for people, communities, and cultures. From a rewarding mission to career development and flexible schedules, there are many reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want to know more? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube to hear stories from staff or visit Glassdoor.

One of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe have a sense of belonging and feel that their unique contributions are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our mission by hiring and engaging a diverse staff that reflects the communities in which we work. Recognizing that people bring talent and skills that have been developed outside the scope of a job, we take a holistic approach to recruitment that considers life experience in addition to the professional requirements listed in our postings. Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “you’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.”


The purpose of the Women In Fire Fellowship is to prepare the candidate for entry or mid-level Fire and Aviation Management (FAM) positions with the US Forest Service or other partner agencies. The Women in Fire Fellowship trainee participates in wildland fire operations to include prescribed fire and wildfire suppression. When conditions are not conducive for fire-related work, the trainee will participate in stewardship activities such as invasive species removal, timber stand improvement, monitoring, and other projects. This is a grant funded, US Forest Service interagency partnership project, funded for up to one year. This crew member position is full time, year around for the period of the grant.

The Women in Fire Fellowship trainee will gain hands-on experience in the preparation and implementation of prescribed fire, wildfire suppression tactics and techniques, safely operating and maintaining equipment, invasive plant management, timber management, and monitoring/inventory activities. This rich and diverse field experience will be supplemented by an accelerated training program consisting of formal and informal training related to FAM and best management practices used in the central hardwoods for the restoration and maintenance of oak/hickory forests and woodlands, glades, barrens, hill prairies and other native ecosystems. The trainee will work alongside a cadre of mentors from TNC and the US Forest Service. In addition, they shall work to build and maintain relationships within our organization and partnership with the US Forest Service, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Southern Illinois Prescribed Burn Association, and others. This may include participation in wildland fire suppression activities in partnership with other non-profits, local fire departments, and local, state and federal agencies, either as a TNC employee or short-term employee of the partner entity (such as an administratively determined, short-term federal employee). This position will pay $16.00 to 17.50 an hour.


  • Performing difficult work in extreme weather conditions, remote locations, and hazardous environments and terrain.
  • Working long days (10-16 hours) under physically and mentally demanding circumstances while assisting with prescribed fire and wildfire suppression. Some fire assignments require out-of-state travel for up to 2.5 weeks (optional).
  • Maintaining a high level of situational awareness and safety-first mindset to identify and mitigate potential hazards to ensure firefighter and public safety.
  • Working as a team with crewmates, partners, and collaborators in a dynamic and high stress environment.
  • Maintaining flexibility to ensure preparedness for time sensitive work, frequent changes in tasks and/or roles, scheduling field work around unfavorable weather or field conditions, and working within varying frameworks of supervision and command structure.
  • Completing a final project that addresses a problem or knowledge gap within FAM.
  • Supporting prescribed burning operations by assisting in the preparation of burn units and implementation of fire. Preparation involves creating and maintaining fuel breaks with chainsaws, leaf blowers, brush cutters/string trimmers, and hand tools, in addition to mitigating snags (dead trees) on the perimeter of the unit. Implementation involves ignitions, holding, suppression, cold trailing, mop-up, and monitoring.
  • Supporting wildfire suppression within the incident command structure to facilitate direct and indirect attack, structure prep/defense, holding, cold-trailing, mop-up, and monitoring.
  • Treating non-native invasive species (NNIS) of plants using chemical and mechanical methods that involve the use of backpack sprayers, UTV mounted pump sprayers, hand pulling, chainsaws, and brush cutters.
  • Conducting timber stand improvement projects by felling understory and mid-story trees with a chainsaw to meet silvicultural and ecological objectives.
  • Conducting fire-effects and NNIS monitoring/inventory to determine the effectiveness of treatments, ecological responses, and location/extent of infestations.


  • High school diploma and 6 months of related experience.
  • Ability to pass the Work Capacity Test (pack test) at the Arduous Level by completing a 3-mile walk with a 45-pound weight vest in 45 minutes or less.
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain related licenses or certifications as required. (e.g. Driver’s license, herbicide applicator, first aid/CPR/AED).


  • 6 months -1 year of related experience or degree in forestry, natural resources, ecology, or related field.
  • Qualified as a Fire Fighter Type 2 (FFT2), having completed I-100 Introduction to ICS (FEMA), L-180 Human Factors on the Fire line (NWCG), ), S-130 Firefighting Training (NWCG), S-190 Introduction to Wild land Fire Behavior (NWCG), and one training burn serving under the supervision of a qualified FFT2. See http://www.tncfiremanual.org/firefighter.htm
  • Experience operating/maintaining 4x4 trucks, trailers, UTVs, chainsaws, leaf blowers, brush cutters, pumps, and hand tools.


Since 1951, TNC has been doing work you can believe in. Through grassroots action, we have grown from a small non-profit into one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff and partners, we impact conservation around the world!

TNC offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, a 401(k) plan with an 8% employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits on our Culture Tab on nature.org/careers.

We’re proud to offer a flexible work environment that supports of the health and well-being of the people we employ.


To apply for job ID 52091, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at https://careers.nature.org/. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact applyhelp@tnc.org.

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to applyhelp@tnc.org with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.