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Career and Education Opportunities for Forest Fire Lookouts in Oxnard, California

If you want to be a forest fire lookout, the Oxnard, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for forest fire lookouts sees this job pool growing by about 8.4% over the next eight years. In general, forest fire lookouts enforce fire regulations and inspect for forest fire hazards.

A person working as a forest fire lookout can expect to earn about $33 hourly or $70,330 yearly on average in California and about $15 per hour or $31,380 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for forest fire lookouts are not quite as good as in the overall category of Fire Control in California, and not quite as good as the overall Fire Control category nationally. Jobs in this field include: fire information officer, forestry technician, and warden.

The Oxnard area is home to sixteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Oxnard where you can get a degree as a forest fire lookout. Given that the most common education level for forest fire lookouts is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be a forest fire lookout if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Forest Fire Lookout

In general, forest fire lookouts enforce fire regulations and inspect for forest fire hazards. They also report forest fires and weather conditions.

Forest fire lookouts relay messages about emergencies, accidents, locations of crew and staff, and fire hazard conditions. They also direct crews working on firelines during forest fires. Equally important, forest fire lookouts have to manage records and logbooks. They are often called upon to estimate sizes and characteristics of fires, and report findings to base camps by radio or telephone. They are expected to direct maintenance and up keep firefighting equipment, or requisition new equipment. Finally, forest fire lookouts examine and inventory firefighting equipment such as axes and fire extinguishers in order to establish  their condition.

Every day, forest fire lookouts are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for forest fire lookouts to administer rules regarding sanitation and related forest rules. They are often called upon to locate forest fires on area maps, using azimuth sighters and known landmarks. They also patrol assigned areas, looking for forest fires and weather phenomena. They are sometimes expected to examine forest tracts and logging areas for fire hazards such as accumulated wastes or mishandling of combustibles, and recommend appropriate fire prevention measures. Somewhat less frequently, forest fire lookouts are also expected to restrict public access and recreational use of forest lands during critical fire seasons.

They also have to be able to restrict public access and recreational use of forest lands during critical fire seasons and examine and inventory firefighting equipment such as axes and fire extinguishers in order to establish  their condition. And finally, they sometimes have to examine forest tracts and logging areas for fire hazards such as accumulated wastes or mishandling of combustibles, and recommend appropriate fire prevention measures.

Like many other jobs, forest fire lookouts must want to innovate to meet new challenges and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Oxnard include:

  • Criminal Investigator. Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
  • Customs Inspector. Investigate and inspect persons, common carriers, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the United States or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.
  • Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
  • Fire Fighter. Control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.
  • Fire Inspector. Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
  • Forest Firefighter. Control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.
  • Policeman. Patrol assigned areas to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, and arrest violators.
  • Sheriff. Enforce law and order in rural or unincorporated districts or serve legal processes of courts. May patrol courthouse, guard court or grand jury, or escort defendants.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Forest Fire Lookout Training

Oxnard College - Oxnard, CA

Oxnard College, 4000 S Rose Ave, Oxnard, CA 93033-6699. Oxnard College is a medium sized college located in Oxnard, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,639 students. Oxnard College has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated one, twenty-four, forty-one, and zero students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Incident Safety Officer - Fire Suppression Certification: A fire department incident safety officer's mission is to promote safety standards and practices in the fire, rescue and emergency services community.

For more information, see the Fire Department Safety Officers Association website.

Special Hazards Suppression Systems: This certification program is designed for engineering technicians engaged in the detailing and layout and/or installation and maintenance related to special hazards suppression systems.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Oxnard, California

Oxnard, California
Oxnard, California photo by Lan56

Oxnard is situated in Ventura County, California. It has a population of over 185,717, which has grown by 9.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Oxnard, 132, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Oxnard are valued at $247,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, seventy-four new homes were built in Oxnard, down from two hundred five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Oxnard are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, construction, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 13.7% of Oxnard residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Oxnard is 15.0%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Oxnard residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. All Saints Episcopal Church, Park Avenue Church of Christ and Good Shepherd Baptist Church are all churches located in Oxnard. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Oxnard is home to the Silver K Golf Course and the Saint Johns Regional Medical Center Health Sciences Library as well as Plaza Park and Mandalay County Park. Shopping malls in the area include Esplanade Mall Shopping Center, Rose Shopping Center and Fremont Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Oxnard can choose from Best Western Oxnard Inn and Ambassador Motel for temporary stays in the area.