Sawtooth Hotshot's Update-

2018 announcement numbers and vacancy opening dates are posted on the employment tab. Interested applicants, or those desiring further information are encouraged to call or email, Kyle West at 208-737-3220 or

For additional information click on the employment tab.

2018 Sawtooth IHC Temporary Outreach





Updates- Follow the permanent staff's
Daily Workout.

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2018 Job Openings and Announcement Numbers- Updated 12/01/17


  • Forestry Aid (Suppression), GS-0462-03, 18-TEMPF-R4-FAFS-3DT-ME
    Available: 1/10-16/18
  • Forestry Technician (Suppression), GS-0462-04, 18-TEMPF-R4-FTFS-4DT-ME
    Available: 1/4-10/18

  • Forestry Technician (Hotshot), GS-0462-04, 18-TEMPF-R4-FTHSHC-4DT-ME
    Available: 1/4-10/18

  • Forestry Technician (Hotshot), GS-0462-05, 18-TEMPF-R4-FTHSHC-5DT-ME
    Available: 1/2-8/18


Apply at USAJOBS


For more information about the program or hiring process direct calls to:

1-208-737-3220 or 1-208-737-3265

What Applicants Should Know
The inside story of the Sawtooth Interagency Hotshots Crew

      The Sawtooth Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC) is a service directed team.  We endeavor to provide the highest quality results with distinctive no-nonsense, independent reliability.  Our philosophy and approach will not appeal to all prospective applicants.  We are looking for a very few good people.  The work is guaranteed to be difficult, exhausting physical labor, day in, and day out. The successful crewmember willingly understands and adheres to the obligations of duty and service.  We are employees of the U.S. taxpayer and will honestly earn those tax dollars.  The Sawtooth IHC will routinely volunteer for tasks that other crews avoid.  (All assignments are evaluated for safety).  Like an aggressive private business, we compete to provide the most comprehensive and efficient service.  We endure discomforts with a smile and a proud proclamation that we would gladly do it again.  Dirt, sun, rain, heat, cold, bad food and pain are just part of life.  There are no obstacles, only opportunities for solutions.
      The Sawtooth IHC strives to build on a reputation and image of competent, professional organization.  While not militarily rigid, this organization is at times too confining for some individuals.  Conduct, uniform and grooming policies are part of our tradition and success.  The crew is generally a tight-knit group and an atmosphere of honesty and free expression prevails.  Crewmembers are selected from all regions of the country and represent a diverse range of thought, beliefs and background.


Employment/Application Information

        Applicants must be 18 years of age at the time of hire and provide proof of U.S. citizenship.
The Sawtooth IHC will be seeking to fill crew positions for the upcoming fire season.  The fire season for the Sawtooth IHC begins mid-May and extends to early October.  Crewmembers must be able to commit themselves to this full time period.  Those desiring work beyond early October may have opportunities depending on the season.  Crewmembers will be compensated at the GS-03, GS-04 or GS-05 level depending on qualifications.  Click on the following link to see current pay rates Overtime (over 8 hours/day), is compensated at base pay + 50%.  Hazard Duty (uncontrolled fire) is compensated at base pay + 25%.  The application process will begin with a formal announcement scheduled for mid-December.  Interested applicants should obtain the announcement and apply on the web at  The announcement will include instructions and information necessary for completion of the application.  Applications not containing the required information may not be considered for employment.  Applicants should include all qualifying experience when completing applications.  Natural resource management and agriculture experience or education can be considered for qualifications and ratings.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to send (mail or email) a separate letter directly to the Sawtooth IHC Asst. Superintendent explaining why they are interested in the Sawtooth Hotshots and their suitability for a crew position. If desired, copies of recommendation letters and resumes can also be sent.



Selection Considerations
Though the following is not all-inclusive they are the primary selective factors considered.


  • Physical Fitness

The Sawtooth IHC places a great deal of emphasis on physical conditioning.  Personal safety may depend on an ability to effectively respond to rapidly changing situations while under extreme physical and emotional stress.  The successful applicant will be able to describe in detail his/her personal conditioning program and may want to provide test results or any other quantitative evidence of fitness levels.  A high level of physical fitness is required before the start of fire season        A medical examination may be required prior to employment.  Physical fitness assessment will take place on the first day of hotshot training. Minimum expectations are as follows:

  • 1.5 Mile run in 10:35 min. or less
  • Pull-ups, minimum of 7.  Situps, 40 in one minute. Pushups, 25 in one minute.
  • Fire line dig, 1.5 chains (99 feet) of fireline 3 feet wide in light grass in one hour or less.
  • Three mile hike with 1,000 feet of elevation gain while carrying a 50 lb. pack in 50 minutes or less.

Part of the assessment is being able to stay with the crew in order to provide a cohesive, safe and effective team.  Individual performance as compared to crew performance will be considered.


  • References & Past Employers

       Exceptional past performance can display a history of strong work ethic and professionalism that is necessary for success on our crew.  We will go to great lengths to check out applicant’s employment history and references.


  • Work /Life Experience

       Life experience of crewmembers commonly includes histories of difficult manual labor and/or extensive and intense athletic training. These backgrounds offer an anchor or reference when the job calls for reserve and resolve.  Fire experience is not necessary for employment on Sawtooth IHC though 80% of the crew must have previous wildland fire experience.

  Any individual who considers him/herself ideally suited to the position is encouraged to apply.


       The Sawtooth IHC provides 80 hours of training prior to assignment availability.  This mandated training is customized annually to meet the specific needs of the crew. Our training places a heavy emphasis on field exercises and active learning, utilizing the classroom as needed. The goal of our critical training is to establish a foundation of knowledge and skills in fire behavior and crew operations while simultaneously building crew cohesion.
       In addition to the critical training, the Sawtooth crew attempts to provide National Wildfire Coordination Group certified S, L & I-200 level courses in an effort to build the skills base of the crew and the credentials of individual crewmembers.  The ability to complete this additional training is dependent on the workload of the season. Physical conditioning is another element of training that the Sawtooth IHC considers essential to safe and effective operations.  Crewmembers can expect from one to two hours of physical conditioning daily.  Ttraining will include both aerobic and strength conditioning.  Physical training will be addressed through running, hiking, weight training, calisthenics, stretching and job specific exercises.



       The Sawtooth Hotshots are based in the city of Twin Falls in south central Idaho.  Southern Idaho is comprised mostly of arid high desert sage and grasslands.  Twin Falls and its surroundings are typical of the region.  Terrain is flat to rolling with mountains bordering the north and south.  Most of the suitable land has been developed for agriculture and that industry is the basis for the local economy.  Twin Falls is a full service community of just over 30,000 people and serves as the major center of commerce for the region. There is no government housing available and crewmembers are responsible for securing their own lodging.  Crew management advertises for rental opportunities prior to the fire season and then provides a list of potential housing to crewmembers.  Many crewmembers choose to share housing arrangements making rental costs very reasonable.  The housing situation has been successfully managed to the satisfaction and approval of crewmembers in the past. Recreational opportunities abound in southern Idaho for the sportsman, hiker, cyclist, boater, golfer and many others.  The Minidoka District of the Sawtooth National Forest provides excellent hiking, cycling and equestrian trails.  Four hundred feet below the surrounding terrain and the streets of Twin Falls, the Snake River flows through the majestic Snake River Canyon.  The Snake River provides opportunities for swimming, boating and fishing.  To the north 75 miles is the famous resort of Sun Valley and just beyond that the beautiful Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Applicants should realize that personal travel on days off is restricted by the need to be available for emergency response. 


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