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Fire Lookout (Seasonal) (1080)

Fire Lookout (Seasonal)

California State Personnel Board Specification

  • Schematic Code: BZ80
  • Class Code: 1080
  • Established: 03/25/1936
  • Revised: 05/20/1975
  • Title Changed: 12/16/1970


Under general supervision, as a temporary employee, to watch from a lookout tower for fires and to report them to the proper authorities; to make weather observations and visibility reports and keep fire reports and communication records; and to do other related work.

Typical Tasks

Watches for fires from a lookout tower; reports fires and their locations to proper authorities using radio, telephone, or other means; locates fire positions by mechanical means, such as Osborne Fire Finder or alidade; locates smokes and orients them to local maps to assist in more accurate reporting; keeps a record of fire discovery times and locations; makes weather observations and visibility reports regularly or as requested, and keeps weather records; cares for the lookout tower, adjacent grounds, and equipment; distributes fire prevention material; gives information to visitors.


Ability to: Read and write English at a level required for successful job performance; learn to locate the position of fires by mechanical means, such as an alidade or an Osborne Fire Finder, to recognize smoke from fixed sources and differentiate from fire smoke within observable distances from his/her tower, to read maps, to communicate the location of fires by radio and telephone to the headquarters office; learn fire fighting methods, equipment, and terminology; maintain lookout tower and adjacent grounds in an orderly condition, explain fire prevention practices and purposes and operation of a fire lookout tower to the visiting public; to read instructions and write legibly simple reports which contain both letters and symbols.

Special Personal Characteristics

Willingness to work alone and in remote areas, to work on weekends and holidays, and to remain on duty 24 hours a day, as required; ability to work in towers up to 100 feet above the ground; keenness of observation, alertness, and good depth perception, normal hearing in at least one ear; color vision sufficient to correctly identify vehicle colors; and visual acuity (Snellen) of not less than 20/100 without correction in each eye corrected to not less than 20/30 in one eye; no more than mildly susceptible to poison oak.

  Updated: 6/3/2012
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