Forest Officer / GIS Specialist
Forestry - Veneta, OR

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There is one permanent, full-time position available with the Western Lane District of the Oregon Department of Forestry located in Veneta. This announcement will be used to establish a list of qualified candidates for this position and may be used to fill future vacancies as they occur. For specific questions regarding this position, please contact Tom Soward, Wildland Fire Supervisor, at (541)-935-2283.

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Mission is – To serve the people of Oregon through the protection, management, and promotion of a healthy forest environment, which will enhance Oregon’s livability and economy for today and tomorrow. ODF is a multi-programmed, multi-funded public agency chartered and structured to administer the forest laws and policies of the State of Oregon, within the framework of sustainable forests, for the benefit of all Oregonians.

The Western Lane District, which contains one Unit Office, is one of five Districts within the Southern Oregon Area. The District provides Forest Fire and Insect and Disease prevention, detection and suppression on 755,147 acres of forest land; contributes to an integrated forest protection system on a statewide basis; provides for cooperative work to public and private landowners to supplement the fire protections system; provides for environmental protection on commercial forests; provides technical assistance to private forest landowners through the Private Forests program; and intensively manages 26,000 acres of State forest land.

As a mixed duty position, the primary focus is on Fire Prevention and Suppression and the secondary focus is on Information Technology and GIS support of the Fire Program. Within the Fire Prevention and Suppression duties, this position focuses on prevention, pre-suppression, detection, and suppression. It serves as an advanced initial attack Incident Commander and functions at a higher ICS level on more complex incidents; serves as a relief duty officer and provides operational oversight during the supervisor’s absence; administers and enforces Oregon’s fire prevention statutes and rules; serves as the primary operator of an assigned engine and is responsible for engine/crew readiness and leading assigned crews; and assists in training coordination and presentation. Within the Information Technology and GIS duties, this position is responsible for assisting with GIS project development and maintenance in support o the Fire Program to meet the District’s IT/GIS objectives.

The Oregon Department of Forestry: Serving Oregonians by protecting Oregon’s forests.

Duties & Responsibilities:

Duties include but are not limited to:

Wildland Fire Suppression/Prevention - April to November
  • Serve as the Initial Attack and Extended Attack Incident Commander on fires, set control objectives, coordinate/assign resource deployment, and determine strategies and tactics. Determine size-up of fire potential, fire fighting resource needs, and direct suppression action of engines, firefighting equipment, personnel, and aircraft. Oversee or constructs fireline using hand tools or power equipment by cutting, scraping, digging, chopping, or burning out to remove flammable materials. Oversee or participate in mop up duties of scraping, digging, chopping and applying water to remove heat. Determine fire line location for dozer. Serve as fire line overhead. Gather weather data/observations and request spot weather forecast.
  • Perform wildland fighting activities; locate fires using maps, Global Positioning System (GPS), and compass. Perform/oversee pre-suppression/readiness duties such as; road brushing, live fire training, water hole location.
  • Responsible for Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) suppression activities, including providing exterior structure protection and responding to rural vehicle fires.
  • Perform fire cause determination, evidence collection, witness identification, and conduct or participate in wildland fire investigations
  • Primary operator of department vehicles including car, trucks, ATV’s, and fire engines.
  • Primary operator of fire engines Type 6 (200 gallons) and larger.
  • Ensure all firefighting equipment is fire ready to support fire suppression activities by completing safety inspection. Submit request for maintenance and maintain the general up-keep of equipment.
  • Responsible for administration and enforcement of Oregon’s fire prevention statutes and rules in ORS chapter 477 and OAR 629. Respond to public complaints, issue citations, issue record of fire, issue burning permits, make court appearances, and perform case reviews.
  • Assist in smoke management activities.
  • Lead public outreach activities such as; home shows, civic groups, fairs, and parades.
  • Lead/conduct fire patrol activities within assigned geographic area including contacts with recreationist, the public and industrial landowners and operators.
  • Ensures proper posting of fire prevention signs and communicate general public education.
  • Develop and participate in fire training for cooperator, landowners and fire crews.
  • Complete fire reports, investigation reports, vehicle logs, and shift tickets.
Computer IT/GIS - November to April

Coordinate with the District IT Coordinator to support the Fire Program
  • Train District personnel in computer hardware, software and network use.
  • Installs Windows operation systems and software.
  • Provide troubleshooting and support of hardware and software issues.
  • Install new computer hardware and repair systems.
  • Provide recommendations and testing of new technology and IT systems.
  • Assist in administering the local Windows server and provides basic server and network support.
  • Evaluate user needs and make recommendations for hardware and software upgrades.
  • Update computer software and operating systems as required.
  • Provides support for District printers, plotters, handheld computers, networking equipment, GPS units, and digital cameras.
Coordinate with the District Geographic Information Systems Coordinator
  • Serve as the Protection Division contact for GIS applications (ESRI GIS, ODF VANTAGE & ODF FIRS). This includes assisting the District GIS Coordinator with managing, updating and maintaining ODF FIRS software.
  • Assists in the maintenance and development of GIS data for the District using ESRI ArcGIS software. This includes the editing of existing data, acquiring or creating new datasets, and replacing outdated information with new information.
  • Train Fire Protection staff and other staff to prepare maps, exhibits, and displays for a wide variety of applications related to District business.
  • Assist with the gathering and sharing of a wide variety of spatial and tabular information within the various District programs; across local, state, and federal government agencies; and with private interests.
  • Conduct GIS analysis, processing, and summary reporting for the District’s Fire Program.
  • Maintain district maps for transportation, fire location, waterhole location, home site location, prevention sign location, gate location, and other mapping needs.
  • Assist with activities for the district’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan, SB360 efforts, and Fire Planning grant program.
Because the Department’s highest priority work is a forest fire emergency, this position will be utilized during those emergencies to provide assistance in a variety of ways. That assistance may be directly aiding the emergency effort in the field or at the Salem headquarters. It also may be in providing backup to fill in for another position that is being used in direct aid to the emergency, or it may be in performing an essential function in some capacity either within this Program or elsewhere in Salem or in the field.

Working Conditions:

Wildland Fire Suppression
  • Required to drive wildland fire engines obeying all traffic laws and drive on steep narrow forest roads.
  • Required to work various shifts including holidays, nights, weekends, and long hours on short notice.
  • Assignments to emergency incidents may require employee to be away from duty station for up to 21 days.
  • Occasionally required to work under adverse conditions such as noise, smoke, heat, rough terrain, dust, inclement weather and exposure to poison oak, bees and poisonous snakes.
  • Requires occasional exposure to heavy equipment operations, aircraft, hazards of burning and/or falling material, and chemical and biological pesticides.
  • GIS and computer systems maintenance require long hours of physical inactivity at a desk in a general office environment.

Qualifications & Desired Attributes:

Minimum Qualifications

Forest Officer

  • Four (4) years in wildland fire suppression OR a Bachelor's degree in forestry or closely related natural resources field and one (1) year of wildland fire suppression, OR
  • Two (2) years in wildland fire suppression and an Associate's degree in forestry or closely related natural resource field. (One 3-6 month season is equivalent to 1 year of experience) .
Transcripts are required to be attached to your application if you are using education or coursework to meet the minimum qualifications. Transcripts must clearly show 1) your name; 2) the name and address of the institution; 3) the degree received and; 4) required courses completed with a passing grade. For application purposes, photocopies are acceptable; however official or original documents may be requested to validate education.

  • Applicants must be 18 years of age by time of hire.
  • Successful applicants must take and pass the physical fitness Work Capacity Test at the arduous level as a condition of hire. Please click this link for more information about the Work Capacity Test.
  • Must obtain the Class B Warden certification within the trial service period.
  • Applicants must have a valid driver’s license with an acceptable driving record at the time of hire. An Oregon driving check will be conducted on the top applicants to ensure a valid license and acceptable driving record. If your license is from outside Oregon, you will be required to submit at least a three year driving history at the time of interview.
  • Preference may be given to candidates who have current fire qualifications. You must submit your current wildland fire incident qualification card with your application materials to provide proof of your qualifications. Attach this document to the 'Attachments' section of your job application.
  • Completion Basic and Advanced Forest Law within 12 months of hire is required.
Desired Attributes:
  • Maintains situational awareness at all times.
  • Communicates with both internal and external customers including cooperators, landowners, public and fire crews.
  • Demonstrates strong decision making capabilities.
  • Works collaboratively as a member of a team.
  • Ability to work independently with general direction and minimal supervision.
  • Demonstrates strong leadership and mentoring skills and has the ability to direct a crew of diverse individuals.
  • Ability to perform in high stress, fast paced emergency situations.
  • Ability to complete accurate reports in a timely manner with strong attention to detail.
  • Analyzes information and evaluate results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Develops specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Maintains an adequate level of fitness to perform assigned duties.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of fire fighting equipment, portable and mobile radios, protection district, roads, topography and landowners.
  • Demonstrates advanced understanding of Fire behavior and National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS)
  • Proficient with GIS software such as: ESRI and Arc View GIS, printers and other peripherals.
  • Working knowledge of GIS database design and management issues.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of map compilation and printing.
  • Demonstrates proficiency with Microsoft Office applications and Microsoft Windows server.
  • Working knowledge of hardware installation, system support and troubleshooting skills.

Additional Information:


To improve communication with all applicants the State of Oregon now requires an e-mail address be provided on all applications. If you do not currently have an e-mail address and do not know where to go to get one, please refer to our Applicant Frequently Asked Questions web page, scroll down to the 'How to apply for a job' section, question #14 to view several links to internet providers where you can get a free e-mail account. The State of Oregon does not endorse any particular provider.

To insure clear communication, please unfilter emails from and

Please note: The employee in this position will be represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and will be subject to all terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement. Due to budgetary shortfalls, this position may be required to take furlough days (mandatory unpaid days off) during the 2011-2013 biennium. Pay and benefits on all job announcements may change without further notice.

If you require an alternate format in order to complete the employment process, you may call ODF Human Resources at 503-945-7200.

Only complete applications will be considered. Your answers to the supplemental questions must be reflected in the work experience section of your application. Be sure to answer all supplemental questions and attach all required documents. Responses to the supplemental questions will determine if you meet the minimum qualifications, any special qualifications and/or desired attributes for the position. Do not submit a resume in place of completing the Supplemental Questionnaire or the Work Experience section of the application.

Qualified applicants whose responses most closely match the requirements for this position will be invited to interview. Transcripts must be submitted to receive credit for education coursework at the time of application.

Veterans -
If you are an eligible veteran and you meet the minimum qualifications, veterans’ preference points will be added to your score. To receive veterans’ preference points you MUST attach to your electronic application the following required documentation:
  • A copy of the DD214/215 for the five (5) point preference;
  • OR A copy of the DD214/215; AND a veteran's disability preference letter from the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs for the ten (10) point preference.
For more information on veterans’ preference points visit , and select veterans’ preference.

PLEASE NOTE: The Oregon Department of Forestry does not offer visa sponsorships. Within three days of hire, all applicants will be required to complete U.S. Department of Homeland Security form I-9, confirming authorization to work in the United States.

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