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Sawtooth Helitack

Sawtooth Helicopter siting on landing pad with fire in backgroundSawtooth Helitak is an exclusive use Forest Service helitack crew based out of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area Headquarters 7 miles north of Ketchum, Idaho. Our crew consists of 10 firefighters: One GS-09 Foreman, 1 GS-08 Assistant Foreman, 2 GS-6/7 Lead Crew, 2 GS -5 Senior Fire Fighters and 4 1039 Seasonal firefighter positions.

Our dispatch area spans from the north end of the forested and rugged Sawtooth Mountain range all the way down to the desert parts of Northern Utah and Nevada.

Currently our crew staffs a Type III Bell 407 helicopter. The Bell 407’s high rate of speed enables our crew on board to arrive on scene of an incident in a fast, safe and efficient manner.Sawtooth Mountain Peak Landscape

Once on scene of an incident, the helicopter, pilot and crew are carded and qualified to perform a number of duties ranging from the suppression of wildland fire, to serving as members of overhead on Type 3 incidents and establishing and performing vital roles in Type 1 and 2 helibase operations. The helicopter is also carded for aerial ignition and as well as an air attack platform.

The crew values honest, hardworking individuals who take stock in the principles of duty, integrity and respect. The expectation of all helicopter crewmembers on Sawtooth Helitack is to arrive on day one in shape, ready to work, eager to learn and always ready to participate and lend a helping hand; this is the foundation to earning the respect of your peers and the overhead of this crew. In regards to arriving physically fit for the job, the terrain on the Sawtooth National Forest is at best unforgiving and at worst punishing. Once on the crew, training opportunities will present themselves based on the need of the individual and their performance with in the crew. Those who are interested in applying with us are required to have at least one year of fire experience. Target candidates should have FFT1, HECM and are ICT5 qualified as well (trainee is acceptable). Forest fire in timber

Fire loading on the Sawtooth National Forest has increased over the recent years due to the overall health of our forest. Beetle epidemics and lower than average snow packs have played a large role in the decline of our forest health. When fires occur on the forest, they have potential for exponential growth right from the start. We are also often called upon to help our neighbors to the south on the Twin Falls BLM.

The Twin Falls BLM experiences some of the highest fire loading in the nation and gives our crew the chance to experience wind-driven range fires. At times the ship and individuals on the crew may be available nationally in ROSS for different assignments based upon qualifications.

The community of the Wood River Valley is home to the towns of Bellevue, Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley. The valley is a full-service community with a regional commercial airport. Government housing is available but limited to a first-come, first-serve basis. The recreational opportunities are bountiful in the Wood River Valley. The Wood River itself is one of the nation’s premier free stone fly-fisheries and a quick drive to Silver Creek, home of some of the most technical fly fishing and trophy Brown Trout to be had in the country. There are more than enough miles of downhill, single track mountain bike trails to satisfy an individual for a lifetime. Hot springs and a couple of different farmers markets and outdoor concerts happen during the summertime as well and are great after work options to have as well. The community is nestled between the Smoky Mountains to the west, Boulder Mountains to the north, and the Pioneer Mountains to the east. We are located 72 miles south of Redfish Lake and Stanley, Idaho which is home to some of Idaho’s most treasured recreational opportunities. As you can imagine, the proximity of these mountains lend themselves to some of the greatest backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering adventures in the winter.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for jobs at www.usajobs.gov. Job information is constantly updated and found on twitter @SawtoothNatlFS or find us on Facebook. Anyone interested in future employment with the crew should contact Ryder Bennett, or Doug Rasmussen, The Helibase Phone number: 1-208-727-5026 ryder.bennett@usda.gov> douglas.rasmussen@usda.gov>