Hello Fire People please pitch in with thoughts, recommendations, personal experiences, ideas, suggestions etc… I am a 32 year old male of European heritage and have been in wildland fire (with the USFS) for (4) seasons. I am approaching the age deadline to qualify for a permanent position (I w have 5 more seasons before its too late) and I am wondering how I can get a perm. 13/13 position. Should I just apply to all open fire jobs with the USFS? If so, how will I know where and what positions are open? Should I stick it out in my area, while continuing to build a good reputation so I can maybe get a position here (Region 1)? I know its tough here as locals and transplants alike love to live and work here in my home state but I am a Montana guy and I don’t want to leave—nor does my wife. Is there any way I could get into the academy? And how does one even apply to the academy? It seems to be an allusive thing that few people really know how it works. I have been on a district engine, a handcrew, and a helitack crew. As for my “quals” I am a faller B and FFT1, but still not done with ICT5 (due to lack of opportunities). I have been lucky in my seasons and they have all been pretty busy so I have a ton of fire-line experience (well, at least for a guy that’s only been in it for 4 seasons and counting) I also have a college degree in the field (Natural Resource Management). Any comments and suggestions will be appreciated (I think). Thank You and everyone have a good and safe season!