BC Wildfire Service sees big increase in firefighter applicants

By Alanna Kelly
March 11, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Wildfire Service had a record-breaking year for applications from people wanting to be firefighters. For the upcoming season, BCWS received 1,700 firefighter applications — nearly double last year’s 860. “I’m actually surprised,” says David Greer, director of strategic engagement at BC Wildfire Service. “It’s a big jump.” The last time the service saw such interest was in 2003 when 2,000 people applied. Each year, BCWS has 1,600 to 2,000 firefighter employees. That number does not include initial attack, wildfire technicians, heavy equipment and line-locating teams. Greer credits opening the application window earlier and staggering it to the successful number of people applying. …Staffing numbers for the 2024 season are consistent with the last seven to 10 years, according to Greer. Roughly 200 firefighters are turning over and leaving the organization from last year, he tells Glacier Media.

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