Integrated Fire and Recreation Internship Program

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is partnering with the Southern Region of the US Forest Service to administer the Integrated Fire and Recreation (IFR) Internship. This program is designed to provide college graduates with an interest in the conservation industry, who are female identifying, or of Alaskan Native, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander, African American, Hispanic, or of other racial minority descent, with opportunities to gain the skills necessary to launch a career in fire, recreation or natural resource management. 


Program Details:

  • Program Dates: January 22nd – May 14th, 2023
  • Internship starts with two weeks training consisting of
    – basic firefighter training
    – work capacity test (completing a 3 mile hike in 45 minutes while carrying a 45 lb. pack)
    – basic trail management and maintenance n
  • After training, member will spend 14 weeks on Forest Service districts in the southeastern U.S. receiving on-the-job training in fire, recreation, and natural resource management

Past Forest Service Locations:

  • Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
  • Cherokee National Forest
  • Daniel Boone National Forest
  • Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests
  • George Washington & Jefferson National Forests
  • Kisatchie National Forest
  • National Forests and Grasslands in Texas
  • National Forests in Mississippi, North Carolina, Alabama, and Florida

Eligibility Requirements:

  • US Citizen; 18-30 years of age
  • Available from early to mid January to May of 2023
  • Completion of an associate’s degree & minimum of 2.0 GPA
  • Background in natural resource management or biological sciences preferred
  • Completion of the Work Capacity (Pack) Test during the training period. Wildland firefighting demands a high level of fitness to work in difficult environmental conditions, including steep terrain, extreme temperatures, altitude, and smoke
  • Must be able to pass a criminal background check
  • Participants must have their own vehicle to provide transportation to and from duty stations
  • All SCA volunteer program participants are required to be fully vaccinated for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized or FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine
  • *A Health Screening Questionnaire will be required from each member. A physical might be required before WCT can be administered. Financial assistance may be available if required.
  • Work Capacity Test (WCT) for Wildland Firefighters: This position participates in wildland firefighting activities. Based on the type of work performed, TAKING and PASSING the WCT at the ARDUOUS level is a ”condition of employment.” The Arduous fitness (Pack) Test requires completing a three (3) mile hike within forty-five (45) minutes, while carrying a forty-five (45) pound pack.

Integrated Fire & Rec Intern Team


  • Under close supervision, receive on-the-job training in fire suppression and prevention
  • Assist with fuel management fire suppression such as fireline construction and backfiring
  • Move dirt, chop brush, or fell small trees to build fireline using hand tools
  • Patrol fireline to location and extinguish sparks, flare-ups and hot spot fire
  • Perform other resource management activities as assigned
  • Recreation/trails duties


  • $600/wk living allowance
  • Housing and travel allowance
  • Hands on experience
  • Participate in a 14-day fire assignment
  • Training and skill-building needed to effectively compete for permanent positions throughout the United States Forest Service (USFS)
  • Upon completion, interns will earn the Public Land Corps Hiring Authority making them eligible to apply to merit vacancy announcements for two years

Ready to Apply?

  1. Create an SCA Internship/Corps application here >>
  2. Enter Application Code: PO-00734235
  3. If you have any questions about the application process please contact Chris Burley ([email protected]) .

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, but those submitted by October 10th, 2022 will be given priority

Student Conservation Association