Cooperative Forest Ranger

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

The Cooperative Forest Ranger is the primary contact for wildland fire management and prescribed fire expertise and services to fire departments, county fire associations, local governments, and external agencies within the designated cooperative fire protection area. This position independently leads and manages all aspects of the forest fire and prescribed fire programs for the assigned area and provides services that ensure forest protection and resource management needs are fully met. Services include technical training; outreach and education to partners; prescribed fire activities; fire prevention; initial attack fire suppression; and incident support.

The Cooperative Forest Ranger provides extended attack fire suppression services and serves as the Incident Commander in a Unified Command structure, Operations Section Chief, or as a Division Group Supervisor/Task Force/Strike Team Leader during major fire suppression operations. Additionally, this position will be the designated DNR employee within the assigned area for review and approval of prescribed fire plans; determining day of burn approval; and conducting prescribed fires.

The selected candidate must meet the requirements for traveling and operating a State vehicle, including the ability to obtain and maintain a valid Wisconsin driver’s license.

The selected candidate will be required to pass a background check prior to an offer of employment.


Applicants must possess the following required qualifications to be eligible for this position

  • Certified (Task Book completed) as Incident Commander Type 4 (ICT4) or higher
  • Certified (Task Book completed) in two of the three Single Resource Boss positions listed below
    • Engine Boss (ENGB)
    • Heavy Equipment Boss (HEQB)
    • Firing Boss (FIRB)
      • Experience implementing prescribed burn plans
      • Experience as an instructor presenting community-based or informal education programs (i.e., not formal school-based education)

Best-qualified candidates will also possess the following preferred qualifications

  • Qualified as Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 3 (RXB3) or higher
  • Experience writing prescribed burn plans
  • Certified (Task Book completed) in all three Single Resource Boss positions (ENGB, HEQB, FIRB) or higher
  • Certified as Wildland Fire Investigator (INVF)
  • Experience developing (or evaluating/improving) and presenting education programs on the following topics: initial attack of wildland fires, structural protection during wildland fires, prescribed fire, incident command, other related topics

Starting pay is $62,400 to $68,640 annually ($30.00/hour to $33.00/hour). Pay for current State employees may vary based on the State of WI Compensation Plan, which requires additional DPM approval to offer a pay increase to transfer candidates.

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