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Twin Falls Helitack

Twin Falls District

Contact Information

Kurt McDonald
Helicopter Crew Supervisor
OFFICE: 208-735-6508
CELL: 208-308-3993
EMAIL:kmcdonald@blm.gov

Vacant
Assistant Superintendent
OFFICE:


Twin Falls Helitack is based out of Twin Falls, Idaho and is part of the BLM’s Twin Falls District. The Twin Falls District has one of the most consistent and large fire loads in the nation. Over the last 10 years the District averaged 79 fires which burned about 175,000 acres. This average doesn’t include the additional 6.5 million acres for which we provide initial attack services within the South Central Interagency Dispatch area. This is the place to work if you want to further develop your fire qualifications.

The Crew

Twin Falls Helitack has 17 highly motivated firefighters specially trained to fight range and forest fires with helicopters.  We provide initial attack and large fire support both locally and nationally; additionally, crew members may fill overhead line assignments and traditional helitack duties.  A Type 2 helicopter is on a 110 day exclusive use contract and when fire season peaks, we’ll often staff another high performance Type 3 helicopter.   

Crew members can average 30 fires per season, offering many opportunities to gain fire experience. At Twin Falls Helitack, we provide a versatile, professional and experienced workforce delivering an excellent product to the agencies and communities we serve.

Seasonal employees generally begin work around the middle of May. Each year we conduct training in various aspects of firefighting and helitack .We start with the BLM fitness challenge and other physical fitness assessments and progress to refresher training which includes: RT-130, RT-212, First Aid/CPR and Crew and District Orientations. The Twin Falls District holds fire school for several weeks in the month of June typically consisting of 7-10 various 200 level NWCG courses.

WHO WE ARE LOOKING FOR-Twin Falls Helitack will fill several seasonal positions with independent thinking, self-motivated, physically fit employees who conduct themselves professionally in all circumstances.  There are student positions available and opportunities for late season work.

Applicants must have one season (90 days) of fire experience to be considered for a helitack crew. Minimum qualification of FFT2 is required.  Additional qualifications such as FFT1, ICT5, FAL2 and HECM are valuable, but not required.

Twin Falls Helitack prides itself on being in top physical condition.  All crew members are expected to arrive for duty in peak physical condition. We believe the safety of the crew depends on the ability of each crew member to effectively respond to rapidly changing situations while under extreme physical and emotional stress; as such we take our PT program very seriously.

Our Helicopter

We have a 110-day exclusive use contract featuring a Bell 205++ helicopter. During the peak of fire season, we often staff other high performance helicopters.

Current Crew Organization

1 GS-9 Helitack Supervisor
1 GS-7/8 Assistant Helitack Supervisor
2 GS-6/7 Lead Helitack
1 GS-5/6 Senior Helitack
7-12 Helitack Crewmembers

Location

Twin Falls Helitack is based just south of the City of Twin Falls at the Magic Valley Regional Airport in south central Idaho.  South central Idaho is comprised mostly of arid high desert sage and grasslands. Terrain is flat to rolling with mountains bordering the north and south.

Twin Falls is the largest city of Idaho's Magic Valley region – with an estimated population over 50,000. As the largest city in a 100-mile radius, Twin Falls serves as a regional commercial center for both south-central Idaho and northeastern Nevada. It is also renowned for its famous Perrine Bridge, at 1,500 feet long and 486 feet above the Snake River, it is a popular BASE jumping site known all over the world.  It may be the only man-made structure in the United States where BASE jumping is allowed year-round without a permit year-round.

The Rogerson Guard Station offers housing opportunities for employees (24 miles from the airbase) or crewmembers can secure their own lodging closer to town, which is often affordable and offers a quicker commute. 

Recreational opportunities abound in south central Idaho for the outdoor enthusiast.  The Twin Falls District and the Sawtooth National Forest provide excellent hiking, cycling and equestrian trails. 

Three 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, paddle boarding and fishing. 

Just a quick 75 miles to the north is the famous Sun Valley resort and just beyond that the beautiful Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

Application and Hiring Information

Each year we expect to fill a limited number of positions. If you are interested in working for us this next fire season, please call or email us. It’s helpful to us to hear from you.

Seasonal Fire Jobs (to apply, click on desired position)

Forestry Technician (Fire) Helitack Crew member, GS-0462-04/05

Forestry Technician (Fire) Helitack- Lead, GS-0462-06

Seat Manager, GS-0462-07

Ramp Manager, GS-0455-05/06