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Mitigation Specialist

West Region Wildfire Council Montrose, Colorado
Deadline 08/22/2018
Job Type Paid permanent

General Information

The West Region Wildfire Council (WRWC) is seeking a well-qualified applicant to fill one of our Wildfire Mitigation Specialists positions.

Position Title: Wildfire Mitigation Specialist

Job Type: Full Time, Exempt, Salaried (40hrs/wk)

Job Location: Montrose, CO – primary area of responsibility will be Gunnison, Hinsdale and Montrose Counties

Initial Hiring Range: $35,000 - $43,000 (DOE and Qualifications)

Position Salary Cap: $54,000

Closing Date/Time:  August 22nd, 2018- COB

Interviews: August 30th, 2018

Anticipated Position Start Date:  Mid-Late September, 2018

Organization

The West Region Wildfire Council (www.COwildfire.org) is a non-profit organization that promotes wildfire preparedness, prevention and mitigation education across Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties in western Colorado. As a collaborative focal point for wildfire related information, the West Region Wildfire Council:

  • EDUCATES homeowners about wildfire risk and promotes activities that help communities and homeowners increase fire adaptedness.
  • PROMOTES wildfire risk reduction through community preparedness and planning.
  • PROVIDES funding to assist landowners with hazardous fuels reduction projects such as defensible space and strategic fuelbreaks.
  • SUPPORTS cooperator efforts to collaboratively achieve common wildfire related objectives.

The WRWC represents a diverse range of members including, but not limited to, the USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Parks Service, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, County Sheriffs and Emergency Managers, fire protection districts and fire departments as well as residents and community leaders who all have a vested interest in wildfire preparedness, prevention and education. The WRWC Steering Committee/Board of Directors is made up of appointed federal, state, county and local representatives.

Position description

Wildfire Mitigation Specialists are responsible for implementing the WRWC’s wildfire outreach and education programs and associated wildfire risk reduction/mitigation projects and activities across the region.  The position works closely with WRWC staff on regional initiatives but the primary area of responsibility is Gunnison, Hinsdale and Montrose counties.

Wildfire Mitigation Specialists act as regional liaisons between federal, state, county and local representatives to encourage information exchange while strengthening collaborative partnerships between agencies and communities.

Position Specifics

Wildfire Education and Outreach

The WRWC provides education and knowledge transfer for wildland urban interface (WUI) property owners, communities and others to increase awareness and understanding related to existing wildfire risk as well as to empower individuals to take action to reduce/mitigate those risks. WRWC also connects a diverse interagency stakeholder group with forward thinking discussion and wildfire related educational topics at monthly regional meetings.

Examples of Tasks:

  • Engage with WUI property owners and community leaders via phone, written, electronic as well as on-site face-to-face communications to increase awareness and understanding related to wildfire risk and activities/actions that can be taken to reduce/mitigate risk.
  • Understand and effectively speak to wildfire related issues to deliver consistent yet site specific, engaging and science based messaging about wildfire risk and mitigation actions in both the built and natural environments.
  • Utilize existing and emerging technologies to deliver site specific wildfire risk reduction recommendations to homeowners and communities via a variety of communication mechanisms, such as generated reports and maps.
  • Assist with the development of educational materials for the WRWC including education initiatives to promote WRWC program concepts locally and beyond.
  • Attend, coordinate and help facilitate community, HOA and other related meeting and outreach opportunities to deliver presentations and educational materials, promote WRWC programs and strengthen community relationships.
  • Coordinate and complete targeted outreach to communities via a variety of mechanisms to promote Site Visits, WRWC Cost-Share and Community Chipping Programs as well as other education and outreach opportunities.
  • Participate in social science research projects to provide necessary information, critical data collection and detailed community outreach for an ongoing research project.
  • Assist with the implementation of monthly Council meetings by presenting mitigation highlights and other relevant information to Council members.

Wildfire Planning

The WRWC develops planning products to help homeowners, communities and fire protection districts understand wildfire risk and prioritize future risk reduction actions.

Examples of Tasks:

  • Work with communities to encourage the completion of parcel level rapid wildfire risk assessments, Community Assessments and/or community level CWPPs.
  • Facilitate and complete field work associated with wildfire risk assessments, Community Assessments and CWPPs in order to develop associated planning documents.
  • Use GIS (ArcMap, Collector, etc.) and Google Earth to create geodatabases, shapefiles, maps and other geospatial projects in support of planning projects.

Fuels Reduction, Mitigation & Community Chipping Projects

The WRWC directly supports fuels reduction/ mitigation projects, in high wildfire risk areas within the region. The Council offers a Cost-Share Program (www.COwildfire.org/cost-share) – which provides technical and financial assistance to plan and implement strategic fuelbreaks, defensible space projects and other priority fuels reduction projects. Additionally, the Council offers coordination and funding assistance of community based curb-side chipping projects, in partnership with community liaisons, to assist residents manage slash resulting from mitigation activities, via its Community Chipping Program (www.COwildfire.org/chipping).  

Examples of Tasks:

  • Promote the WRWC Cost-Share Program and Community Chipping Program through a variety of outreach and networking mechanisms.
  • Schedule and coordinate Site Visits with homeowners and Colorado State Forest Service partners to initiate education opportunities and fuels reduction projects.
  • Coordinate Cost-Share Program defensible space and strategic fuelbreak projects including the following supporting tasks:
    • Create common and explicit expectations with property owners regarding: project planning; the cost-share application, award agreement and reimbursement process; as well as project implementation and post-project maintenance.
    • Coordinate property owner Cost-Share Program Application submissions for internal review.
    • Develop project design criteria and specifications.
    • Write Scope of Work (SOW) and Request for Proposals (RFP) documents.
    • Layout and mark projects using GIS/GPS technologies as well as flagging and spray paint.
    • Facilitate contractor show-case trips to solicit bids on behalf of property owners.
    • Make cost-share funding recommendations for internal review and approval.
    • Perform project inspections and contractor compliance checks to ensure adherence to design criteria and specifications for intermediate as well as final project checkoffs.
  • Coordinate Community Chipping Program projects including the following supporting tasks:
    • Identify and work collaboratively with key community liaisons/advocates to plan and initiate outreach and communications regarding projects.
    • Develop community specific flyers, guidelines and other outreach materials.
    • Manage community enrollment and participant registrations through the Council’s website as well as Google Forms and Google Sheets.
    • Manage chipping program participant communications and relations.
    • Coordinate with chipping contractor(s) to schedule chipping dates, provide registration lists and maps.
    • Administer chipping project contractor oversight & conduct participant ‘pile and materials guidelines’ compliance checks using established protocols.
    • Finalize project data, critical documentation and contractor invoice payment processing.
  • Support WRWC reporting efforts by tracking detailed programmatic information using spreadsheets, written reports, photographs and GPS/GIS technologies.
  • Facilitate the implementation of county and community based CWPPs through fuels reduction projects and other prioritized activities.

Organizational Sustainability

The WRWC actively plans for the future sustainability and resiliency of the organization. The position supports the WRWC’s Director’s and Assistant Director’s efforts to ensure timely progress toward future organizational direction and vision.

Examples of Tasks:

  • Assist Director & Assistant Director with organizational sustainability efforts.
  • Pursue funding opportunities in collaboration with WRWC staff and partners.

Necessary Attributes

  • Independent and self-motivated
  • Attention to personal relationships, partnership development and retention
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills including public speaking and presentation skills
  • Strong facilitation and leadership skills
  • Team player with the ability to collect many different types of input and move forward in a positive, productive way
  • Ability to simultaneously manage multiple projects and activities
  • Close attention to detail and organization
  • Willingness to work some evenings, weekends and holidays (flexibility)
  • Strong proficiency with word processing, spreadsheets and database management
  • Proficiency with Google suite of applications (Drive, Docs, Sheets, Forms, MyMaps, etc.)
  • Proficiency with ESRI products (ArcMap, Catalogue, Collector, Online, etc.) as well as handheld GPS technologies
  • Ability and willingness to use a personal vehicle for travel within work area (see “mileage reimbursement” below). A high clearance vehicle is recommended. In some cases the Mitigation Specialist may need to travel large distances during a single day to access some of the remote locations associated with this job.

Desired Qualifications

  • College degree in a related field, or 2 years of experience in wildfire education and mitigation or natural resource management is preferred.

Helpful understanding and Experience- Not Mandatory

  • Understanding and experience with a variety of wildfire related topics/disciplines including:
    • Wildfire ecology in fire prone and fire excluded environments
    • Wildland fire behavior
    • Defensible space design, development & best practices
    • Strategic fuelbreak design, development & best practices
    • Fuels management best practices
    • Western Colorado vegetation communities, cover types & ecosystems
    • Structural ignition vulnerability & mitigation measures
    • Common wildland fire suppression operations and tactics
    • Behavioral and economic applied sciences
    • Emergency preparedness
    • Community development & land use planning

Compensation & Benefits

The position is expected to work 40 hours/ week from our Montrose based office location. Compensation for this position will be determined based qualifications and experience. The initial hiring salary range for the Wildfire Mitigation Specialist position is $35,000 - $43,000 annually. The position’s salary caps out at $54,000 per year.

This position includes the following benefits:

  • performance-based salary increases
  • annual cost of living adjustment survey and potential increase based survey results
  • health insurance reimbursements (up to $300/month)- available following a 90 day wait period
  • retirement match (up to $1,250/year)- eligible for 2019 calendar year
  • paid time off (15 days annually, to be accrued at 1.25/month)-available following six month wait period
  • paid sick leave (4hrs/biweekly pay period)- no wait period
  • paid holidays (11 days, including most major federal holidays)- no wait period
  • flex time (accrued daily-for work beyond 8 hours; max of 24 hrs)- no wait period
  • physical training time (up to two hours per week) – no wait period
  • personal cell phone service reimbursements (up to $25/month) – no wait period
  • mileage reimbursement (GSA rate, currently at $0.55/mile)- no wait period
  • participation in wildland fire assignments-outside sponsor required- up to 28 days of un-paid leave per calendar year with prior approval.

The West Region Wildfire Council currently enjoys a working partnership with the San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA) which is a 501(c)3 organization. SJMA is the current acting fiscal agent for the WRWC. However, WRWC is currently putting together the necessary documentation and tax filings to become its own 501(c)3 organization – with an anticipated start time for the organization to become fully recognized by the State of Colorado and the IRS by November of 2018.  This position will report to, and be supervised by, the West Region Wildfire Council Assistant Director.

Environmental and Physical Factors:

Work is performed in an office, vehicle and /or outdoor setting in all possible weather conditions. While performing the duties of this job the employee is required to stand, sit, walk, talk, or hear for extended periods of time. Occasionally lifts and carries 50lbs at least 100ft. frequently walks over uneven rough terrain, carries necessary job equipment. Frequently sits in one position while driving.

Equal Employment Opportunity. There shall be no unlawful discrimination or harassment against employees or applications for employment because of race or color, religion or creed, sex or gender, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, military status, genetic information or other protected status. Equal employment opportunity, as required by law, shall apply to all personnel actions including, but not limited to recruitment, hiring, upgrading, promotion, demotion, layoff, or termination.

HOW TO APPLY

How to Apply

Interested individuals should submit the following:

  • Letter of Application. No more than two pages. Include statements describing your specific knowledge, skills and experience as they relate to this position and this organization. (MS Word or PDF file accepted)
  • Resume. Should be a maximum of three pages and include at least three professional references. (MS Word or PDF file accepted)

Application deadline is COB August 22, 2018. Interview dates for high ranking applicants will be scheduled on an individual basis. Please send application materials via email only. Please include “Mitigation Specialist App” in the subject line, and email to:

Jamie Gomez, Assistant Director

West Region Wildfire Council

Email: wrwc.coordinator@gmail.com

Additional Information

Successful applicants must have a valid Colorado driver’s license, or ability to acquire one upon employment.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.
"Working together to reduce wildfire risk.". Uploaded by West Region Wildfire Council