Wildland Firefighter Foundation
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Home / WLF TheySaid / Mapmakers: Unsung heroes in the battle against wildfires

  • 10/26/2015
  • Robinson
  • 1 Comment

This was an article that came out August 29th, 2015 from the Seattle Times that does a great job highlighting the grueling job of being a Geographic Information Systems Specialist on a wildfire incident.

Does anyone have advise for folks that want to become a GISS and/or recommendations?


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1 Comment
  1. Zeke Lunder
    November 1, 2015 Reply

    GISS work is no joke – the software that we have to use (ArcGIS) is buggy as heck, and takes a lot of time to learn. We work pretty much under constant deadlines, and because of the unreliable nature of the software, sometimes we have to make the same map 2 or 3 times after it keeps crashing – so it is important to be able to work quickly! We also spend a lot of time moving files around, and doing a lot of printing, connecting GPS units, networking computers together, and setting up and tearing down our setups, so being an expert computer driver is a big plus.
    I recommend that if you are not already well versed in GIS, that you spend some time in a job that requires daily use of ArcGIS – solid GIS experience is required to get into the S-341 GISS training. Also, if you have fireline qualifications and are a Single Resource, getting time as a Field Observer or Situation Unit Leader trainee will put you in contact with the GIS shop on major incidents, and you can get a taste for the pace and flow of what we do.

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