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Wildland firefighters

Two firefighters walk down a dirt road silhouetted by smoke

Wildland firefighters

Fighting wildfire in Michigan

Michigan DNR wildland firefighters respond to hundreds of wildfires across the state each year, protecting people, homes and nature from the effects of wildfire. They also carefully use fire as a tool during prescribed burns to improve wildlife habitat and reduce wildfire risks.

In addition to fighting wildland fires and conducting prescribed burns, firefighters assist with forest management including cultivation work, operate heavy machinery, work with partner organizations and maintain firefighting equipment. 

There are several opportunities to participate in wildland firefighting. All firefighters must pass a fitness test and pre-employment screening to qualify for service.

A firefighter wearing a hard hat sprays water on a smoking tree limb

Full time wildland firefighters

Become a full-time firefighter with the Michigan DNR for a rewarding career in natural resources. You’ll receive health and retirement benefits and opportunities for career growth. 

Position information

  • Pay begins at $21.43/hour
  • Work 40 hours per week 

Peak-season temporary firefighters

Join the Michigan DNR during peak wildfire season to gain experience and be prepared to apply for full-time opportunities.

Position information

  • Pay rate of $21.43/hour
  • Work a minimum of 20 weeks from March – October, 40 hours per week
A firefighter next to a red fire truck sprays water up at a smoking tree
Firefighters work a smoky prescribed burn site next to a road with fire vehicles

On-call firefighters (MiWFF program)

Work as an on-call wildland firefighter with a variable schedule through the Michigan Wildland Firefighter program. 

Position information

  • Pay begins at $18/hour, $20/hour with Engine Boss credential
  • Work variable hours depending on fire season severity and location of fires

More information

Questions about wildland firefighting in Michigan or becoming a DNR firefighter? Email DNR-Forestry@Michigan.gov or contact your local fire officer.