How do you get into aerial firefighting?

How do you become a pilot that fights fires?

Minimum Qualifications

1. At least 500 hours of mountain pilot-in-command helicopter flight time, routinely making landings in mountainous terrain above 4,000 feet MSL. 2. At least 500 hours of turbine helicopter time as pilot-in- command.

How much do forest fire pilots make?

The average salary for a Forestry Fire Pilot is $85,103 per year in United States, which is 35% lower than the average CAL Fire salary of $132,469 per year for this job.

How much do fire boss pilots make?

How much does a Fire Pilot make in California? While ZipRecruiter is seeing salaries as high as $128,295 and as low as $20,154, the majority of Fire Pilot salaries currently range between $37,357 (25th percentile) to $73,732 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $101,751 annually in California.

How long do aerial firefighters work?

15. A CAL FIRE air tanker flies for 200 to 400 hours each year, while the helicopters are used for 150 to 400 hours. Some bases are much busier than others.

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What is the highest paying pilot job?

Major Airline Pilots Earn the Highest Salary Regional Airlines versus Major Airlines. In the May 2019 report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the range of salaries for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers from less than $74,100 a year, to the highest 10 percent earning more than $208,000.

How much do Smokejumpers make?

A smokejumper earns around $16.00 per hour while a smokejumper foreman earns about $24.00 per hour. Smokejumpers are paid nothing extra for making parachute jumps; however, they do receive hazard pay equivalent to 25 percent of their base pay when working on an uncontrolled wildfire.

How much does a Cal Fire firefighter make?

CAL Fire Salaries

Job Title Salary
Firefighter/EMT salaries – 9 salaries reported $4,270/mo
Firefighter/Paramedic salaries – 8 salaries reported $68,362/yr
Firefighter/EMT salaries – 6 salaries reported $3,464/mo
Fire Captain salaries – 6 salaries reported $111,206/yr

Does aerial firefighting work?

Aerial firefighting is most effectively used in conjunction with ground-based efforts, as aircraft are only one weapon in the firefighting arsenal. However, there have been cases of aircraft extinguishing fires long before ground crews were able to reach them.

How do you become a helitack firefighter?

Applicants must have at least a year of experience as a seasonal firefighter or a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture, Forestry, or Range Management, as well as a valid driver’s license. Prospective helitack crew members who apply prior to February 20 each year get first consideration for all available positions.

What is a firefighter helicopter?

Helitack crews are teams of wildland firefighters who are transported by helicopter to wildfires. Helicopters provide rapid transport, enabling helitack crews to quickly respond and assess a wildfire situation.

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How do you become a seat pilot?


  1. 1,500 hours total in all aircraft.
  2. 1,200 hours in airplanes.
  3. 200 hours in category and class to be flown (airplane, single-engine land (ASEL), airplane, single-engine sea (ASES) or both, as appropriate)
  4. 25 hours in the make and model to be flown.
  5. 200 hours of low-level flight (below 500 feet AGL) in airplanes.

How do you become a fire jumper?

The BLM Smokejumpers have established target standards based off of the BLM Fitness Challenge: Run 1.5 miles in 9:30 or run 3 miles in 22:30. 10 pull-ups. 60 sit-ups.

Physical Training Requirements

  1. Run 1.5 miles in 10:47 minutes or less.
  2. 6 pull-ups.
  3. 30 push-ups.
  4. Pack 110 pounds on level terrain in 65 minutes or less.

How much do fire bombers make?

An Aircraft Firefighter in your area makes on average $47,424 per year, or $1,097 (2%) more than the national average annual salary of $46,327. ranks number 1 out of 50 states nationwide for Aircraft Firefighter salaries.

How do you become an airtanker?


  1. 21+ years of age.
  2. Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Class A.
  3. Tanker and Hazardous endorsement.
  4. Must be able to: Pass a 10-year criminal background check, together with a pre-employment drug screening and pass random drug tests. Pass DOT medical every year.

How long does it take to become a Cal Fire pilot?

This rigorous 219 hours of training is specifically for those seeking a seasonal firefighter job with CAL FIRE. The new 6-week format will include additional certifications, including SFT Low Angle Rope Rescue Operations (LARRO), NWCG Firefighter Type 1 S-131, Portable Pumps and Water Use S-211.

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