Fire Management Specialist

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The Nature Conservancy

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Lexington, KY, United States

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30+ days ago


This position may work remotely but must be conveniently located within proximity to primary work sites in Kentucky and Tennessee, ideally along the I-75 corridor between Lexington, KY and Knoxville, TN.


The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. Whether it’s career development, flexible schedules, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want a better insight to TNC? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube or on Glassdoor.

Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. In addition to the requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of inclusion! Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote myriad TNC staff members, “you’ll join for our mission, and you’ll stay for our people.”


The Fire Management Specialist (FMS) works closely with the Fire Manager and other staff to provide technical leadership and overall programmatic support to the Kentucky and Tennessee fire and stewardship programs by working closely with other program staff and partner land managers to plan, implement, and evaluate prescribed burns on TNC and partners lands. Work is primarily located in Central and Eastern Kentucky and Central and Eastern Tennessee, within TNC’s Appalachian focus area. The FMS must be currently qualified as a prescribed fire Burn Boss Type 2 or meet the Burn Boss Type 2 qualification within one year from the date of hire and complete the arduous physical fitness test annually. The FMS will work to build prescribed fire capacity by hiring and supervising seasonal employees, volunteers, and students. The FMS will update and maintain fire equipment and supplies, provide operational expertise on prescribed burns and stewardship activities, assist with and / or lead fire trainings, assist with annual budgeting, provide motivation and leadership, and maintain relationships in the professional fire community and in the local community where TNC works. The FMS will also assist with addressing a full array of preserve management needs, perform other duties as assigned, and participate in wildland fire suppression activities in partnership with other non-profits, local fire departments, and local, state, and federal agencies as a TNC employee, or as a volunteer or short-term employee of the partner entity (such as an Administratively Determined, short term federal employee). Extensive daily travel and frequent overnight travel is required.

This ideal candidate has demonstrated experience with prescribed burning in deciduous hardwood forests, native grasslands, and a familiarity with Appalachian ecosystems.


If you’re looking for a career where you can find meaning and purpose, come join our Chapter as the Fire Management Specialist. Not only will you fulfil conservation objectives in the beautiful states of Kentucky and Tennessee, but you’ll contribute to conservation goals through many networks!

Specifically, the Fire Management Specialist responsibilities and scope include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Assists with all aspects of prescribed fire implementation including operational and administrative functions.
  • Performs tasks with minimal supervision and makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience, and context.
  • Makes decisions in rapidly changing and potentially hazardous conditions that may affect the safety or resources.
  • Hire, train, and supervise seasonal fire staff, and take steps to mitigate hazards.
  • Identify housing and arrange logistics and meet supply needs for seasonal fire modules.
  • Operate and maintain prescribed fire equipment and vehicles.
  • Write, and update, prescribed fire burn plans and prepare units for burning.
  • Meet The Nature Conservancy’s requirements for Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 2 found here: currently or within one year of employment.
  • Supervise technical, administrative, and professional staff with responsibility for performance management, training, and development.
  • Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.
  • Ability to work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.



  • Bachelor’s degree in a science related field and 3 years’ experience in fire operations or ecological land management or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Meet qualifications for two Single Resource Boss Positions. Requirements for Single Resource Boss can be found here:
  • Must achieve the arduous physical fitness test.
  • Experience training and supervising staff and burn crew members or volunteers.
  • Experience writing prescribed burn plans.
  • Relationship building experience to work closely with a variety of partners, i.e., media, government officials, internal scientists.
  • Experience completing tasks independently with respect to timeline(s).
  • Experience with communication via written, spoken, and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.
  • Experience using common software applications such as Word, Excel, ArcMap, web browsers, etc.
  • Experience with coordination and leading trainings.
  • Experience using fire related equipment such as utility vehicles, chainsaws, leaf blowers, and other power tools.
  • Must have valid driver's license.


  • 3-5 years’ experience in natural resource management, similar field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Ability to recognize plant and animal species foe executing an ecologically appropriate fire regime.
  • Knowledge of ecological land management principles.
  • Ability and willingness to apply science to decision-making and guide activities.
  • Familiarity with principles of land acquisition or similar asset acquisition.
  • Knowledge of ecological land management principles.
  • Experience driving 4x4 vehicles and towing trailers.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in conservation, land management and natural resource preservation.
  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.


Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. Through grassroots action, TNC has grown to become 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, we impact conservation throughout the world!

The Nature Conservancy offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including: health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan including employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work wellbeing benefits. Learn more about our benefits at in the Culture Tab on

We’re proud to offer a work-environment that is supportive of the health, wellbeing, and flexibility needs of the people we employ!


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with TNC’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." To learn more about the Auto Safety Program, visit under the FAQ section.

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.


Anticipated starting salary range: $50,000 - $53,000


To apply for job ID 52599, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact

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 with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

Where legally permissible, TNC requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated and willing to keep up to date with vaccines that protect against COVID-19. By accepting an offer of employment, you agree to comply with this requirement, unless you are entitled to a legally mandated exemption.

An attractive salary and benefits package is part of TNC’s value proposition to our employees. TNC strives to provide competitive pay and bases salaries on the geographic location of the role committing to being equitable across groups and providing hiring salary ranges when possible.

Since we support flexible and remote work for our employees, many positions have a flexible location within countries where we’re registered as a Non-government Organization and established as an employer. This may mean we’re unable to provide a hiring salary range in the posting for some of our positions. However, candidates invited to be part of our interview process will be provided their location specific range upon request.

  • Health insurance