Helicopter Manager – Missoula

February 19, 2024
Apply Now
Deadline date:

Job Description


Job Overview: This position has responsibilities to coordinate, implement, and supervise wildland fire initial attack personnel and equip­ment to provide a safe and effective fire manage­ment capability for the Area.  Work assignments require coopera­tion and coordina­tion with State and Federal agencies, local fire departments, the general public, permanent and seasonal employ­ees and private contrac­tors.  The posi­tion supervises seasonal activities related to wild­land fire protec­tion, build­ings, grounds, vehicles and fire-related program pro­jects of the Area.  The incumbent will plan, coordinate, and implement training for Permanent and Seasonal personnel.  One of the priorities for the Area is our cooperator relationships; therefore, the Helicopter Manager will maintain relationships with the adjoining DNRC Areas, Federal agencies, and Counties within and outside the Area. This position is supervised by the Area Aviation Operations Supervisor.  The Helicopter Manager coordinates daily helicopter operations, directly supervises a Helitack Crew as well as a Fuel Tender driver as directed by the Area Aviation Operations Supervisor. This supervision may be extended on and off the Area during various work schedules.  This position performs training, prevention, general forestry work, equipment and facilities maintenance, as well as other duties as assigned.  This position may drive Helicopter support vehicles when requested by supervisors.

Essential Functions (Major Duties or Responsibilities): 

  • Fire Suppression and Preparation for Suppression
    Directs an initial attack Helitack module in preparation for suppression, and suppression of wildland and residential/wildland interface fires.
  • Helicopter Management 
    Working directly with the Pilot-in-Command, manages mission specific operations assigned to DNRC Rotor-wing aircraft. 

The number of employees supervised is: 2


  • Online State of Montana application
  • Resume 
  • Cover Letter


*If you are interested in a complete job description please contact HR at Makayla.Mangold@mt.gov.

Minimum Qualifications (Education and Experience): 


  •  Graduation from high school or equivalent.


  • Two years of experience in wildland fire suppression with supervisory responsibilities and be fully qualified as Helicopter Manager, ICT5, and Faller A.
  • Must have successfully performed on two qualifying uncontrolled fires as a Helicopter Manager.  Performance on at least one qualifying uncontrolled fire as a Type 4 Incident Commander is desirable.


  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Upon Hire: Must be able to complete a physical performance test known as the “Pack Test” which requires you to carry a 45 pound pack the distance of 3 miles in not more than 45 minutes.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Requires knowledge of how to quickly and accurately assess a wildland fire situation and determine strategies and tactical methods to control wildland and residential/wildland fires.  Guidelines specifically outlining how to handle every situation are not feasible or available.  Knowledge of fire behavior, Montana forest fire rules and regulations (contained in Administrative Rules of Montana), Montana burning permit requirements, local fire prevention needs, Incident Command System, CPR, first aid, hazardous materials awareness, and radio use.  Requires skill in driving on unimproved road systems, reading maps, using a hand compass, hand tools, chainsaws, and other firefighting or project-related equipment.  Ability to plan, organize and conduct safe, cost-effective control of wildland fires, perform physically demanding, arduous work for extended time periods, effectively communicate verbally to others, properly complete agency paperwork, and complete wildland firefighter training courses.  Most knowledge, skills, or abilities, such as CPR and hazardous materials awareness, require yearly demonstration of proficiency.

Successful completion of the initial hiring requirements for Helicopter Manager and the following courses, or equivalents, must be completed for hiring into the position.

  •               I-100 Intro to Incident Command System
  •               S-130 Basic Wildland Firefighting
  •               S-131 Advanced Firefighter/Squad Boss
  •               S-133 Look Up, Look Down, and Look Around
  •               S-190 Basic Wildland Fire Behavior
  •               L-180 Human Factors on the Fireline
  •               S-212 Wildfire Chainsaws
  •               S-211 Portable Pumps and Water Use
  •               P-100 Basic Fire Prevention
  •               P-200 Intermediate Fire Prevention
  •               ICS-200 ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
  •               IS-700 NIMS Incident Command System
  •               L-280 Fire Line Supervision
  •               S-230 Crew Boss
  •               S-231 Engine Boss
  •               S-270 Basic Air Operations
  •               S-290 Intermediate Fire Behavior
  •               S-372 Helicopter Manager, Single Resource

Successful completion of the following courses, or equivalents, is recommended for full performance level in this position:

  •               IS-800 NIMS Incident Command System
  •               ICS-300 Intermediate ICS
  •               S-200 Initial Attack Incident Commander
  •               S-234 Firing Methods
  •               S-215 Fire Operations in the Interface        
  •               S-260 DNRC Fire Business Management
  •               S-372 Helibase Manager
  •               L-381 Incident Leadership

The position is required to meet arduous physical fitness requirements stipulated by the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation policy. The position requires possession of a Class C Montana Driver’s license (or equivalent interstate driver’s license). The above knowledge, skills and abilities are typically acquired through completion of high school or equivalency, three seasons of satisfactory progressive performance in wildland fire suppression (with one season as a Helicopter Manager), and satisfactory performance as an Incident Commander (Type 5) during the initial response to two wildland fires. The position must have the skills necessary to work alone in the field, including driving in winter conditions (use of tire chains), operating ATVs and knowledge of navigating with map and compass. Be able to participate in Wildland fire suppression, which may require the ability to pass the arduous pack test. 

SPECIAL INFORMATION: Candidates must be eligible to work in the United States. A valid driver’s license is required with less than 12 conviction points in the most recent completed 36 months.

ELIGIBILITY TO WORK: In accordance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act, the person selected must produce within three days of hire documents that show authorization to work in the United States. Examples of such documentation include a birth certificate or Social Security card along with a driver’s license or other picture I.D., or a U.S. passport, or a “green card”.

Applicant Pool Statement:  If another department vacancy occurs in this job title within six months, the same applicant pool may be used for the selection. Training Assignment:  This agency may use a training assignment. Employees in training assignments may be paid below the base pay established by the agency pay rules. Conditions of the training assignment will be stated in writing at the time of hire.  

Salary: $22.60 per hour   

Telework Eligibility: Not Telework Eligible 

Benefits Package Eligibility:  Health Insurance, Paid Leave & Holidays, Retirement Plan

Number of Openings: 1     

Employee Status:  Seasonal 

Schedule:  Full-Time

Shift:  Day Job 

Travel:  Yes, 10 % of the Time  

Primary Location:  Missoula    

Agency:  Department of Natural Resources & Conservation 

Union:  000 – None 

Required Application Materials:  Cover Letter, Resume  

Contact Name:  Julie Smith  |  Contact Email:  Julie.Smith@mt.gov  |  Contact Phone:  406-438-0909