Bureau of Land Management to hire military veterans
By KIMBERLEE KRUESI | The Times-News | Published: December 16, 2012
TWIN FALLS — A federal agency is looking to hire 20 military veterans for its fire management program.
The targeted hiring spree is the first time the Bureau of Land Management has sought military veterans to work on its fire fuels crew, said Jessica Gardetto, spokeswoman for the agency.
The Bureau of Land Management will create four five-member fuels crews to be stationed in Boise, Burley, Pocatello and Coeur d’Alene. Government housing will only be available in Burley and Pocatello areas.
“Idaho’s fuels management program is highly active, with an excellent track record of success,” said Idaho BLM State Director Steve Ellis in a news statement. “The additional assistance of the veteran’s crew will significantly enhance our program by allowing us to continue accomplishing our goal of managing healthy lands and improving community safety from wildfire.”
Job requirements include conducting fire fuel reduction projects, assisting in fire suppression, vegetation removal, creating fire breaks, and working in remote areas in Idaho.
Veteran fuels positions will be 13-month term appointments but they may be extended up to four years. Work schedules will require veterans to work a minimum of six months of full-time employment per year, with the possibility of longer assignments depending on availability of funding, project work and weather.
“The BLM saw a lot of success with this program in Nevada,” Gardetto said. “We’re excited we are bringing it to Idaho.”
The veterans’ fuels crew program is one of many efforts to reduce fire fuels across the state. Fuels reduction efforts during this year’s fire season helped reduce dangerous wildfire behavior and allowed firefighters to save homes, private property and natural resources.
“We’re only hiring 20 veterans at this time but we would like to expand if the program is successful,” Gardetto said.