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Career and Education Opportunities for Forest Fire Lookouts in Reno, Nevada

Forest fire lookout career and educational opportunities abound in Reno, Nevada. 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.

The average wage in the general category of Fire Control jobs is $30 per hour or $63,063 per year in Nevada, and an average of $25 per hour or $51,548 per year nationwide. Forest fire lookouts work in a variety of jobs, including: forestry technician, district ranger, and fire operations forester.

There are eleven schools of higher education in the Reno area, including one within twenty-five miles of Reno where you can get a degree to start your career as a forest fire lookout. Given that the most common education level for forest fire lookouts is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Reno 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.
  • Fish and Game Warden. Patrol assigned areas to prevent fish and game law violations. Investigate reports of damage to crops or property by wildlife. Compile biological data.
  • 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

Truckee Meadows Community College - Reno, NV

Truckee Meadows Community College, 7000 Dandini Blvd, Reno, NV 89512-3999. Truckee Meadows Community College is a large college located in Reno, Nevada. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,277 students. Truckee Meadows Community College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated zero and thirteen 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: Reno, Nevada

Reno, Nevada
Reno, Nevada photo by Smooth_O

Reno is situated in Washoe County, Nevada. It has a population of over 217,016, which has grown by 20.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Reno, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Reno are priced at $202,100 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-seven new homes were built in Reno, down from nine hundred ninety-seven the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Reno are arts, entertainment, and recreation, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is arts, entertainment, and recreation, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 25.0% of Reno residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Reno is 11.8%, which is less than Nevada's average of 12.6%.

The percentage of Reno residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Reno is home to the Short Ranch and the Keystone Square as well as Wilkinson Park and Paradise Park. Shopping centers in the area include Miraloma Park Shopping Center, Village Shopping Center and University Village East Shopping Center. Visitors to Reno can choose from Oxford Motel, Atlantis Casino Resort and Wayside Motel & Apartments for temporary stays in the area.