The Suffolk County Water Authority is seeking a Fire Management Specialist to perform key roles in managing the comprehensive prescribed fire program operated by the Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission for the Central Pine Barrens region. Responsibilities include leading the development and implementation of all aspects of the prescribed fire management program; the supervision and training of prescribed fire crews; conducting fuels, smoke and wildland fire management/mitigation; assisting with public education and outreach and the preparation of prescribed and wildland fire management plans for ecological and fuel management in collaboration with other agencies and stakeholders. The overarching programmatic goals for the prescribed fire program include fostering biological diversity, natural resource conservation and restoration and wildfire risk reduction within the Central Pine Barrens. This position is full time (37.5) hours a week and will be a designated term position that exists as long as the commission receives NYS funding to implement a prescribed fire program.
- Leads the development, management and implementation of an interdisciplinary, multiagency prescribed fire management program and drafts prescribed, wildland fire and pre-fire vegetation treatment management plans for ecological and vegetative fuel management.
- Provides leadership, coordination and direction in the application of standards, methods and guidelines for all fire management program elements.
- Ensures safety and welfare of all participating personnel, the public and property; provides training and mentorship of staff and volunteers and the completion and signing of associated National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) task books.
- Develops and plans a comprehensive fuels management program. This includes collaboratively selecting areas in need of fuels treatment; developing appropriate methods to reduce fuels; developing a budget necessary to fund the program; scheduling, procuring and maintaining equipment and personnel for fire operations; preparing wildland fire risk assessments; incorporating wildland/urban interface considerations; developing mutual aid agreements and ensuring compliance with environmental laws, regulations and policies including assisting with drafting and developing environmental impact statements and other National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) requirements.
- Recommends and evaluates strategies for fire management and participates in the development and modification of fuels and fire management plans, environmental documents and prescribed fire plans.
- Supervises prescribed fire crew members, interns and other subordinate staff associated with prescribed fire and other projects.
- Supports and assists in the development and implementation of long-term ecological monitoring to facilitate and refine adaptive management programming.
- Certified as an NWCG certified Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 2 (RXB2) and/or Task Force Leader (TFLD) equivalent with ability to maintain this certification during the duration of employment with the ability to pass moderate (carrying of 25lbs/2 miles in 30 minutes) level work capacity test at a minimum, with the ability to pass arduous (carrying of 45lbs/3 miles in 45 minutes) level work capacity test preferred.
- Professional knowledge of and expertise in managing wildland fires including both suppression and prescribed fires and natural resource management/ecology/forestry to lead the creation, maintenance and enhancement of a prescribed fire and wildland urban interface fuels management program.
- Demonstrated knowledge and experience analyzing and applying fire management strategies including drafting, developing and evaluating prescribed burn; pre-fire fuels treatment; fire management and smoke management plans as well as conducting pre and post treatment/wildfire inspections to ensure objectives are met.
- Solid professional knowledge in the principles of conservation biology and restoration ecology, especially pertaining to pine barrens ecological communities or other fire-dependent ecological communities, as well as fire ecology, prescribed fire and invasive species.
- Knowledge of and expertise in the policies; techniques and practices of wildland firefighting and suppression obtained through substantial service in wildland firefighting and/or prescribed fire operations.
- Demonstrated significant experience in and willingness and ability to lead, supervise and participate on prescribed fires in accordance with NWCG standards.
- Able to train and certify NWCG task book tasks for staff and/or volunteers working under supervision during prescribed fire operations. Experience with specifying, equipping, mobilizing, deploying and maintaining prescribed fire equipment cache, water delivery systems, fire communications systems, engines and crew.
- Ability to operate motor vehicles, including four-wheel drive (4WD) truck, Utility Task Vehicle (UTV), All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and demonstrated knowledge of and experience in operating a variety of other field tools and equipment, both powered and non-powered, used in natural resource management such as a utility trailer, chainsaw, mower, pumps, hand tools and scientific and forestry instruments.
- Experience with performing ecological restoration, knowledge of and direct experience with applying adaptive management principles for natural resource management and the use of various ecological restoration tools including mechanical treatments, herbicide application and similar tools in support of and as an alternate management practice to prescribed fire.
- Experience ensuring permitting and compliance with federal and state laws and regulations related to wetlands; rare, threatened and endangered species and species of special concern as well as NEPA and SEQRA.
- Solid working knowledge of and experience in using GPS units, remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (especially ESRI software) for data collection and mapping with proficiency in reading and interpreting maps and aerial photographs; using a compass and GPS units and navigating through large tracts of land.
- Knowledge of and experience with BEHAVE fire modeling system for use in modeling fire behavior as well as the Incident Command System (ICS) and Incident Action Plans for purposes of planning and implementation of prescribed fire.
- Advanced training in NWCG “S” courses and “RX” courses especially RX-301 – Prescribed Fire Implementation; RX 341- Prescribed Fire Plan Preparation; S212 - Wildland Saws; UTV operation qualified and First Aid and CPR at wilderness first responder qualification level preferred.
- B.S. in ecology, conservation biology, forestry or related natural science major.
- 7 years of relevant experience with core components including prescribed fire programs.
The Authority may accept an equivalent combination of education and experience to meet the requirements. Salary is commensurate with education and experience and ranges from $75,000 to $80,000 with benefits. Interested candidates should submit their application, resume and transcripts, including salary requirements via the SCWA website (www.scwa.com) and click on “Career Opportunities.” COVID-19 Vaccine is required.
(The Authority shall not employ relatives of employees as defined to mean an employee's spouse, child, stepchild, stepparent or direct descendant of grandparents of the employee as defined in the New York State General Municipal Law 810.)
Directors and Managers should bring this to the attention of all employees and post on bulletin board.