Wilderness Fuels Module - Medic/Crew Member

Sierra Institute for Community and Environment

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details 25-27/hr
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Term: May - October 2024

*Start and end dates are subject to change based on weather and site accessibility* 

Wage Range: $25.00-$27.00

Benefits: Sick leave, Holiday leave, Wildfire mitigation leave

Training: Crosscut felling, S-212 Basic Saw Training

Position Overview

The Sierra Institute for Community and Environment (Sierra Institute), in cooperation with the Lassen National Park (LAVO) is hiring one Wilderness Fuels Module (WFM) crew member to serve as a crew member medic for an eight person crew performing fuels management in LAVO to promote future prescribed and/or managed fire activities in wilderness areas of the park. The WFM Crew Member Medic, under the direction of a WFM Crew Leader, Sierra Institute support staff, and LAVO specialists, will be responsible for  safely falling, bucking, and limbing live and dead trees and constructing fireline using predominantly non-mechanized equipment (e.g., crosscut saws, axes, etc.) in undeveloped wilderness areas. Crew members will also use non-mechanized equipment to fall low-complexity, small diameter trees. Mechanical thinning (chainsaws) may be used for project implementation in non-wilderness areas. Fuels are rearranged, either by piling or lopping and scattering depending upon fuel loading, to facilitate future prescribed fire. The WFM Crew will also be responsible for supervising Sierra Institutes youth corps “P-CREW”, for a portion of the season while they assist with the project. The crew may also assist as necessary with other activities to advance landscape restoration in the region. 

The WFM Crew Member Medic will advance their knowledge of Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forest ecosystems, wilderness management, collaborative forest management processes, and crew management and leadership. They will work with project supervisors to implement and adapt silvicultural prescriptions and/or remove fuels based on designated cut trees, depending upon the complexity of the location. The Crew Member Medic will be expected to recognize tree species, defects, and environmental hazards in executing the prescription and cut tree mark, calling attention to unnecessary risks and flagging hazard trees for future removal using mechanized equipment. The Crew Member Medic will assist in the day to day operations of the crew. In conjunction to carrying out the implementation of the prescription, the Crew Member Medic will be responsible for being the lead medical staff in the field. This will include acting as the primary responder in the event of a medical emergency, helping to delegate roles amongst the crew in the event of an emergency, and make known the Emergency Response Plan. The Crew Member Medic may also be asked to lead first aide talks and scenarios for the crew to further everyone’s understanding. 

In all work, the crew is expected to uphold the ethics of Wilderness land management, working to minimize the visual and ecological impacts of human intervention and practicing Leave No Trace principles. Training will be provided to inform decision making in the wilderness in line with the 1964 Wilderness Act and for adherence to minimum visual retention standards in the USFS Scenery Management System. 

The majority of project work will occur adjacent to and within the northern area of the National Park near Manzanita Lake. The project area lies within the heart of the beautiful, rugged, and diverse landscape of northern California's headwaters. A small portion of project work may be within the boundary of the recent Dixie Fire (2021) and Crew objectives will support several projects in various stages of implementation. Manzanita Lake, known for its views of Lassen Peak reflected in its crystal clear water, and the area around it remain unburned. . The crew will also spend time conducting fuel management in the wilderness areas around Juniper Lake. This area did suffer from mid to high severity burning during the Dixie Fire.  This is an opportunity to deploy a niche skill set, non-mechanical hand treatments, in order to advance post-fire recovery in burned areas and promote fire resilience in unburned areas.

The Crew Member Medic must be organized, open to learning, possess the knowledge and ability to provide medical aid, within the scope of their training, maintain composure in potential emergency situations, and be willing to work hard in a physically demanding role. This position requires hiking while carrying a heavy pack and paint and mitigating known and unforeseen hazards that may include smoke, heat, and strong wind. This crew will utilize a 8-6 work schedule consisting of eight 10-hour days followed by six days off.

This is a unique opportunity to contribute to fuels reduction activities within a designated Wilderness area in a National Park. Those with an interest in Wilderness land management, active management of forested landscapes for ecosystem resilience, and/or the use of fire as a tool to promote ecosystem health, are encouraged to apply. Medics must possess a full COVID-19 vaccination status (vaccinated and boosted).



  • Minimum of one years’ combined field experience in forest or other natural resource management, this may include but is not limited to biological research, survey work, land conservation, or wildland fire.
  • Current wilderness medical training certification of WFR, EMT, or WEMT;
  • Minimum two years experience being responsible for responding to medical situations in a field setting; 
  • Some formalized training in the use of saws for bucking.
  • Ability to use compasses, topographic maps, and handheld GPS units or tablets to navigate and collect data in the field.
  • Good physical conditioning to work and walk in the forest all day carrying day-packs with equipment during all types of weather. 
  • Ability to live in a campsite setting for eight days at a time.
  • An ability to bring adaptability and improvisation, critical thinking skills, creativity, and humor to the workplace.
  • Ability to be punctual, diligent, and thorough in their work and support a similarly strong work ethic amongst crew members.
  • Ability to perform physically taxing work in all weather conditions in rugged mountainous environments
  • Interest in, or familiarity with, principles of Wilderness land management;
  • Possess a valid, clean, state-issued driver’s license, with an ability to safely operate a 4WD vehicle;
  • Full COVID vaccination status (vaccinated and boosted). 


  • Some formalized training in the use of saws for falling.
  • Experience with utilizing non-mechanized equipment (crosscut saws, axes, etc.) to perform fuels reduction;
  • Familiarity with mixed conifer forests and the ability to identify common tree species in the northern Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades;
  • Leave No Trace or other backcountry ethics training;
  • Faller 1 or equivalent (minimum Class A);
  • Certification in S-212 (Federal Wildland Chainsaws).

Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Skills or experiences that can fill in for desired qualifications may be considered.

Physical Requirements

The incumbent will be expected to walk 4-8 miles per day with a field pack, ample water, and tools over rough terrain and in variable weather conditions, which will likely include high temperatures in the summer months. Strenuous and repetitive physical effort will be associated with fuels reduction activities, including the use of a crosscut saw and rearrangement of fuels. 

While working, the incumbent will be provided an opportunity to camp for multiple nights in a developed campsite within Lassen Volcanic NP. 


Compensation is $20-22.00 per hour DOE Health benefits through Sierra Institute are not available for this position but may be obtained through Covered California (http://www.coveredca.com/). Field staff will be provided monthly sick time, paid holidays, and a set number of paid wildfire mitigation leave. Paid wildfire mitigation leave is intended to mitigate work days impacted by wildfire and smoke. 

About the Sierra Institute

The Sierra Institute promotes healthy forests, watersheds, and communities by investing in the well-being of rural communities and strengthening their participation in natural resource management. Our work supports initiatives that simultaneously benefit the environment, economy, and equity within a given landscape. Sierra Institute is located in Taylorsville, CA (population 154), and lies within an area referred to as “Indian Valley” that includes the communities of Greenville and Crescent Mills. Indian Valley offers uniquely rural community events and is surrounded by public lands including Plumas National Forest, Lassen National Forest, and Lassen Volcanic National Park. 

About Lassen Volcanic National Park

The Wilderness Fuels Module is based in scenic Lassen Volcanic National Park (LAVO), where the crew will implement prescriptions developed by a team of natural resource professionals dedicated to fuels reduction and reintroduction of fire in the novel landscape of LAVO.

Lassen Volcanic National Park is located in Northeastern California at the southern end of the Cascade Range. The  plateaus, valleys, meadows, and forests of the park are marked by volcanic activity as made evident by its active boiling mud pots, fumaroles, and hot springs; and plentiful volcanic rock dispersed throughout the landscape.  The dominant feature of the park, Lassen Peak, is a large plug dome volcano, the largest of its kind to exist in the Cascade range. 74% of the park is designated Wilderness. 

In 2021, the Dixie Fire burned 73,420 acres of the park at mid to high severity. This was the largest fire within park history. The increasing size and severity of wildfires within the park underscores the need to implement controlled burns and fuels reduction in order to reduce adverse effects of wildfires. Projects such as the Northwest Gateway and the North Fork Feather River Headwaters aim to reduce fuels while adhering to wilderness regulations and apply prescribed fires in targeted areas.

The park is fairly remote, with the closest amenities such being in Redding, Susanville, or Chester. While in the park, visitors have access to excellent recreation sites, with plenty of scenic hiking trails along pristine lakes and volcanic peaks. The characteristic forest type is red fir forest, and some old growth stands remain intact.


Please send your cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references as one PDF to jobs@sierrainstitute.us with “Wilderness Fuels Module - Crew Member Medic” in the subject line. Please include where you heard about the job in the text of the email (please be as specific as possible). Position is open until filled, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please call 530.284.1022 or email jobs@sierrainstitute.us  if you have questions.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Forestry, General / Stewardship
Tags Wildland Firefighter