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Forest Ranger

L23

Basic Purpose

Positions in this job family are assigned responsibilities in the prevention and suppression of wildfires and in the performance of technical forest management work related to the delivery of the Division’s cooperative forestry programs.

Typical Functions

The functions within this job family will vary by level, but may include the following:

  • Engages in initial attack and extended attack wildland fire suppression, prescribed burning operations and activities; provides fire suppression and prescribed burning assistance to employees, partner agencies, volunteer, and other assisting fire crews.
  • Utilize basic Geographic Information System (GIS) skills and equipment to gather wildland fire and prescribed fire data, including but not limited to acres involved, fire area latitude/longitude, and/or GIS .shp files of fire perimeters.
  • Prepares and submits Forestry Division wildland fire and prescribed fire activity reports for state and national fire reporting systems; collect wildland fire information from partner agencies as needed for state and national fire reporting systems.
  • Provides wildland fire and prescribed fire training to employees and partner agencies.
  • Supervises or participates in the construction and maintenance of Forestry Services Division facilities and projects, such as roads, bridges, towers, buildings, and grounds.
  • Operates and maintains assigned equipment, including pickup trucks, fire engines, bulldozers, and other related equipment; supervises and performs preventive maintenance; performs or schedules repairs to assigned equipment after consultation with supervisor.
  • Applies basic investigative skills to determine fire causes, preserves evidence and assists law enforcement agents in law enforcement activities related to wildland fire.
  • Presents fire prevention information and education programs for schools, groups and the general public; participates in organizing and training rural fire departments.
  • Presents and demonstrates wildfire preparedness information and education, including defensible space planning, to schools, civic groups, and the general public.
  • Inventories state and private forest lands by measuring and recording forest data, such as tree species, stem diameters and heights; maps forest stand boundaries and calculates acres; determines volume of merchantable timber within given timber stands; assists foresters in the development of forest management plans for landowners; distributes forest management information to landowners.
  • Assists landowners in technical aspects of tree planting operations; performs follow-up inspections to determine if proper planting techniques were used and evaluate tree survival and mortality rates; gathers tree seeds from superior stock for use in planting operations.
  • Marks trees for harvesting purposes; designates boundary lines for cutting operations, timber stand improvement work, and timber sales; computes timber volume for use in bid requests.
  • Distributes forest management and fire prevention information to landowners.
  • Uses GPS and GIS technology to record property location and boundaries, identify stands, and develop forest type and ownership maps.
  • Uses various plot-sampling techniques to collect data on forest conditions and timber volumes; develops forest stand and stock tables.
  • Analyzes aerial photographs, satellite images, topographic maps, soils maps and other resources and collects appropriate data for use in forest management planning and technical assistance programs; may use GIS technology to display data in electronic form for use by professional foresters.
  • Performs related work as required and assigned.

Level Descriptors

This job family consists of three levels which are distinguished based on the complexity of assigned duties, the level of expertise required to complete assigned work, and the responsibility assigned for providing leadership to others.

Level I: Code: L23A Salary Band: G

This is the basic level of this job family where employees are assigned responsibilities, which primarily involve participating in the prevention and suppression of wildland fires, the operation and maintenance of fire fighting equipment, and the maintenance & construction of forestry facilities.  Some responsibilities may also be assigned for providing training and assistance or guidance to volunteer fire crews or serving as Single Resource Boss or as the Incident Commander for low complexity wildland fires.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include knowledge of wildfire suppression principles and techniques; of record keeping procedures; of the operation and maintenance of assigned fire-fighting equipment; and of state wildland fire laws and policies.  Ability is required to manage a single resource such as a bulldozer, wildland engine or fire crew; to trouble-shoot equipment malfunctions in the field; to encourage community support of volunteer wildland firefighting organizations; to write reports; and to read and interpret maps; and to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of one year of forestry-related work, or fire prevention and suppression work, or experience operating logging, earth-moving or farm equipment or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

NOTE:  Must be able to pass a Forestry Services administered reading and writing comprehension test to be eligible for employment.

Level II: Code: L23B Salary Band: H

This is the career level of this job family where employees are assigned to serve as the Incident Commander in the suppression of moderately complex wildland fires, to serve a leading role while conducting fire prevention activities and for the operation and maintenance of equipment or the construction of facilities.  In this role employees have responsibilities to plan an appropriate and safe strategy for suppressing wildfires, ensure the safety of personnel and volunteer fire fighters assigned to the fire and to assign work related to the resources on the fire.  Other duties may include serving in a leading role on various fire prevention and facilities/equipment maintenance activities.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level I plus knowledge of fire prevention practices, of the principles of fire behavior, of normal building and grounds maintenance, and of incident management techniques. 

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of completion of training and qualification as a National Wildfire Coordinating Group Type 4 Incident Commander and two years of experience in forestry or wildland fire suppression or completion of an approved, agency directed Forest Technician training program or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Level III: Code: L23C Salary Band: I

This is the advanced level of the job family where employees perform a full range of forest technician assignments and uses considerable independent judgment in making decisions requiring the interpretation and application of guidelines with considerable latitude to specific work situations.  Employees are expected to conduct standing tree inventories, calculate volumes, mark standing timber, locate property lines, distinguish and map timber types, diagnose common insect and disease problems, conduct seedling survival surveys and perform other technical forestry work as assigned. Employees at this level will also be assigned as a Prescribed Fire Burn Boss, Level 2 (RXB2), as an Incident Commander managing multiple resources, strike teams and/or task forces in the suppression of complex wildland fires, or is a member of Command and General Staff of the Forestry Division Incident Management Team.  Other responsibilities include providing functional supervision to other employees, volunteer fire fighters, and others in various fire suppression and/or prevention activities.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level II plus knowledge of technical forestry principles, practices, and terminology related to timber management, wildlife habitat management, forestry best management practices, mapping, and business mathematics. Employees at this level will also be expected to have the ability to organize and coordinate the activities of lower-level employees.  Ability is required to use forest management tools.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified in Level II plus an Associate’s degree in forest technology, forestry or forest management; or completion of three courses in forestry at the college level and qualification as a National Wildland Coordinating Group Type 4 Incident Commander, plus certification as a National Wildfire Coordinating Group Prescribed Fire Burn Boss, Type 2 (RXB2) and two years of experience performing technical forestry work or wildland fire suppression; or completion of an approved, agency directed Forest Technician training program; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Special Requirements

Applicants must be willing and able to fulfill all job-related travel normally associated with this position.

Applicants must pass an agency established pre-hire physical examination and must take and pass a drug test prior to appointment, administered through the appointing agency.

All applicants hired after 06/30/2014 must pass a job-related work capacity test (as outlined by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group) within three months of employment and maintain the minimum levels of fitness required for their position throughout their career with Forestry Division (tested annually).

Persons appointed to Forest Ranger I positions must complete all training and experience requirements for National Wildlife Coordinating Group Firefighter II (FFT2) certification within six months of employment and Firefighter I (FFT1) within one year of employment.

Applicants for level I, II, and III must reside or within six months of employment establish residence within a 15 mile radius of the designated reporting/work site to which the employee is assigned. 

Some positions may require possession of a valid State of Oklahoma Commercial Driver’s License, Class A or B, with appropriate endorsements as referenced in the Oklahoma Model Commercial Driver’s Manual in effect at the time of appointment.  Persons appointed to such positions in the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry Services Division must obtain a Class A commercial Driver’s License no later than five months after the date of appointment.  Employees subject to this requirement will be subject to random drug testing administered by the appointing authority.

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