Prescribed Fire Specialist

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The Nature Conservancy

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Seattle, WA, United States

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25 days ago


Seattle, Washington, USA

Central, WA


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 are lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want a better insight to TNC? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube 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’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 Prescribed Fire Specialist (PFS) will be a key staff member within the Washington Chapter’s new programmatic effort focused on accelerating ecological fire to build wildfire resilience in thew frontline communities of central and eastern Washington. The PFS supports and guides Chapter programs to ensure the scientifically defensible execution of forest restoration and management throughout WA, with the goal of increasing resilience of forest ecosystems and frontline communities in the face of climate change. This position will work closely with a broad set of state, federal, and local partners to advance forest planning and on-the-ground implementation of a fire management initiative to improve forest condition and landscape integrity. The PFS will engage with private landowners and the public in facilitating a vision for increased use of prescribed burning as a tool for ecological restoration. This is position, along with the Cooperative Fire Director, is a new investment for the Washington Chapter. The successful candidate will have ample opportunity to shape this program through partnerships with public and private organizations and through engaging local community support for prescribed fire efforts, and negotiating complex and innovative solutions with agencies, tribes, and landowners to restore forest health and build fire resilient communities.


This position will work closely with communities and prescribed fire partners to inspire and support the growth of community-based cooperative burning models in the dry forest region of Washington. In addition, they shall work to build and maintain relationships in the professional fire community and with many partners including government agencies, indigenous communities, and private organizations. S/he will support strategic action and drive implementation of forest management practices on state, private, and federal lands within central and eastern Washington. The PFS directs prescribed fire operations and develops and reviews Prescribed Burn Unit Plans and Site Fire Management Plans. The PFS may supervise seasonal staff in completion of restoration and management activities to protect and restore fire-dependent native plant communities. They will implement strategic plans, coordinate community support, manage contracts and implement Forest Program strategies. The PFS is responsible for safe and effective fire operations, administers physical fitness testing, trains, and organizes crew; conducts annual refresher training, and maintains documentation files for crew member training and qualifications. Anticipated percentage of time, relative to key job duties:

  • Relationship Building, Facilitation & Communications (40%)
  • Project Management, Implementation & Problem Solving (30%)
  • Grants and Contracts Management (20%)
  • Other functions (10%)


  • Makes decisions in rapidly changing and potentially hazardous conditions that may affect the safety of staff and resources.
  • Oversees staff and volunteers who serve as Burn Crew Members.
  • Ensures Crew Members are well-trained and maintains records of training. Reports experience and training for crew to Conservancy Fire Manager annually for recording to Incident Qualification and Certification System.
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.
  • Under minimal supervision makes independent decision based on analysis, experience, and judgment.
  • Build relationships with partners and collaborative groups to accomplish shared program goals.
  • Financial responsibility may include working within/managing a budget to complete projects, negotiating, and contracting with vendors, assisting with budget development, and meeting fundraising targets.
  • Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.

Level of Position: The Prescribed Fire Specialist is a mid-level, conservation team position within the Washington Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. They have accountability for conservation results within their control.

Within the scope of the position, the Prescribed Fire Specialist will:

  • Engage with a broad set of state, federal, and local partners to advance forest planning and on-the-ground implementation of a fire management initiative as a means to improve forest condition and landscape integrity.
  • Coordinate with the WA Prescribed Fire Council and the WA Resource and Conservation District to support efforts to identify local communities with the necessary enabling conditions and build on-the-ground relationships to implement prescribed fire by working with Fire Adapted Communities Coalitions, Prescribed Burn Associations, FireWise communities, Tribes, DNR, and local fire districts, and TREX programs.
  • In partnership, this person will initiate outreach in priority communities to catalyze interest, design strategy and implement projects.
  • Identify and coordinate with community leaders that are interested in developing community-based prescribed fire model.
  • Help to build Prescribed Fire Associations, or other community-based models in communities across Washington.
  • With partners, support and conduct community outreach on prescribed fire.
  • Direct prescribed fire operations on low and moderate complexity broadcast burns, and direct non-broadcast burn activities
  • Prepare broadcast and non-broadcast prescribed burn plans and provide or coordinate technical review.
  • Manage and prioritize projects, including pre- and post-fire monitoring. This may involve creating & monitoring RX prep/implementation contracts.
  • Serve as a representative for TNC on wildfires that may occur on Conservancy owned or managed land.
  • Coordinate, assist partners with, develop, and deliver prescribed fire training (classroom and experiential) for NWCG and non-NWCG fire practitioners, such as agency employees, fire district staff, nonprofit staff, private landowners, volunteers, and prescribed burn association members.
  • Coordinate cooperative agreements at the County, Fire District, and private landowner level for cross-boundary prescribed burns.
  • Support the WA State Certified Burner Program
  • Position will require frequent (sometimes overnight) travel.

Work Environment and Schedule

  • Work location is flexible within the dry forest region of Central Washington, but ability to be on-site at TNC locations in Washington is required.


  • BA/BS, law or business degree and 5 years’ experience in natural resource management or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Must meet NWCG qualifications for Incident Commander Type 4 (ICT4) / Burn Boss Type 3 (RXB3), including coursework and experience requirements, and working toward RXB2 qualifications. See the Conservancy’s Fire Management Manual for a full explanation of qualification requirements:
  • Experience directing prescribed fire operations.
  • Annually pass physical fitness testing at the arduous level.
  • Experience training and supervising staff and burn crew members or volunteers
  • Experience leading effectively in stressful situations.
  • Must have valid driver’s license and good driving record.


  • Ability to act in accordance with the Washington equity statement; be respectful of differences of identity and/or beliefs, and successfully work across those differences to meet work objectives.
  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experiences are appreciated.
  • NWCG qualifications for RXB2.
  • Knowledge of land management conservation practice and conservation science.
  • Ability to explain conservation practices to technical and non-technical audiences.
  • 3 to 5 years related experience in fire operations or ecological land management, similar field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Experience in training and curriculum design.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in conservation, land management, and natural resource preservation.
  • Completing tasks independently with respect to timeline(s).
  • Excellent communication skills via written, spoken and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.
  • Experience communicating with the public and/or media both in writing and verbally.


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 to include 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 in the Culture Tab on

We’re proud to offer a work environment that is supportive of the health, well-being, 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.


The estimated starting salary for this position is dependent on qualifications, experience, and location.

  • Salary range in Cle Elum, Wenatchee or Yakima, WA: $61,300 - $70,300 annually
  • Salary range in Ellensburg, WA: $64,200 - $73,700 annually


To apply for job ID 51803, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at by 11:59 PM EST on 8/8/2022. 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.

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