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The Prescribed Fire Specialist focuses on promoting the use and acceptance of prescribed fire across the state of Montana. This work is primarily accomplished through the Specialist’s role as the coordinator of the newly-formed Montana Prescribed Fire Council. The Prescribed Fire Specialist also assists the FPB’s Community Preparedness and Fire Prevention Program Manager in building and maintaining the capacity of the DNRC Fire Protection Program and cooperating partners to promote wildfire resilient landscapes and fire adapted communities. The incumbent serves both as a resource to internal DNRC personnel and to key external DNRC partners in local, state, tribal, and federal government.

Essential Functions (Major Duties or Responsibilities): These job functions are the essential duties of the position and are not all-inclusive of all the duties that may be assigned to the incumbent.

1) Coordination of the Montana Prescribed Fire Council
The Prescribed Fire Specialist will serve as both the principal subject matter expert and point of contact in the DNRC regarding matters pertaining to the Council and its business and as the convener/coordinator/facilitator of the statewide group. The purpose of this council is to promote shared solutions to common barriers concerning the implementation of prescribed fire, facilitate dialogue between member-practitioners, and provide recommendations to the Montana Forest Action Council to increase the use of prescribed fire as a land management tool, regardless of land ownership.
  • Develop and communicate a strategic plan for the Montana Prescribed Fire Council. Continually evaluate the effectiveness of Council programs, projects, and efforts to ensure objectives are met.
  • Facilitate the establishment, maintenance, and growth of relationships among Council members and promote dialogue between member-practitioners.
  • Provide skills building and training opportunities for individuals throughout the state to grow their expertise and qualifications in prescribed fire.
  • Identify and create resources to fill gaps in outreach and educational materials related to prescribed fire

2) Prescribed Fire Program Development & Implementation
The Prescribed Fire Specialist will work with the Community Preparedness and Fire Prevention program manager and other Forestry Division Personnel to identify areas of strategic growth and coordination within the DNRC that will allow for the agency to take a more active role in prescribed fire planning and implementation. The incumbent must possess a strong working knowledge of both the National Cohesive Fire Management Strategy, as well as familiarity with DNRC programs and services.
  • Use the Montana Forest Action Plan goals, objectives, priority areas and action items to support, develop and implement short and long-term program goals and objectives for efficient prescribed fire program delivery.
  • Maintain strong, positive relationships with staff and partners to foster consistent communication and open dialogue concerning the DNRC’s role in prescribed fire implementation across the state of Montana.
  • Assist the Forestry Division in the implementation of prescribed burns across the state, both by coordinating DNRC personnel and by participating in prescribed burn as needed.

3) Grants
The Prescribed Fire Specialist will work with the Community Preparedness and Fire Prevention Program Manager to seek, secure, and distribute grant funds to support building prescribed fire capacity and promoting wildfire resilient landscapes as well as fire adapted communities.
  • Seek, evaluate, and secure grant funding opportunities for program initiatives such as supporting the Montana Prescribed Fire Council activities and objectives, landowner engagement initiatives, and support for program partners.
  • Conduct administrative tasks to effectively manage grants, including those implemented by the DNRC or local communities, government agencies, and other grant sub-recipients.

Minimum Qualifications (Education and Experience):
The required knowledge, skills and abilities are typically acquired through a combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in forestry, fire, natural resources, or related field; combined with demonstrated ability to effectively communicate the DNRC’s needs, objectives, and accomplishments related to the Fire Protection Programs; showcase project success stories; and provide information on emerging natural resource issues.
Formal working knowledge of, and experience in, prescribed fire implementation or collaborative group management is preferred but not required.

Equipment or Machinery Used:
Computers and computer software (relational databases, word processing, presentation). Will occasionally require operation of tools, equipment and vehicles used in prescribed fire implementation, wildland fire control, and forest management activities.

Required knowledge, skills, and abilities:
The Prescribed Fire Specialist requires professional-level knowledge, skills, and abilities related to project management including organization, planning, and reporting. The duties of the position also require skill in written and verbal communication and strategic planning combined with an understanding of prescribed fire implementation. Strong interpersonal skills and confidence in speaking to a variety of audiences are a must.