Wildland firefighting demands a high level of physical fitness to safely perform daylong work in difficult environmental conditions including steep terrain, extreme temperatures, high altitudes, and smoke. For this reason, a physical fitness test is conducted to ensure individual and crew safety.
The Work Capacity Fitness Test, more commonly known as the Pack Test, is a three-mile hike over level terrain carrying a forty-five-pound pack. To qualify, the test must be completed in less than 45 minutes. However, this should be looked at as a minimum fitness threshold. To be successful as a wildland firefighter you should be able to meet this requirement with ease.
1.5 Mile Run
Upon the completion of the Pack Test, crew members will complete a 1.5 mile run (without a pack). Your time will be recorded and factored into your evaluation.
Push-ups and Sit-ups
Crew members will complete a one-minute push-up and one-minute sit-up evaluation. There is no particular threshold necessary to advance, but your performance will still be factored into your evaluation.
Miller Timber Services, Inc. strives to have the most elite wildland firefighting crews. Crew members are encouraged to competitively push themselves to achieve their personal best. To encourage friendly competition and the overall betterment of our crews, we track all-time records here:
- 1.5-mile run – 7:43 (Neil Faxon 4/26/2015)
- Push-ups – 83 (Quincy Coons 6/20/2012)
- Sit-ups – 69 (Mike Lynum 3/10/2018)
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Fire Fitness Challenge
Wildland Firefighting is a physically demanding profession. A high level of physical fitness is essential to an individual’s success as a wildland firefighter. The fire season will not get you in shape, but slowly take it out of you.
It is important that crew members take responsibility for their personal wellness and job performance by showing up in shape, ready for the fire season. One crew member’s lack of personal preparedness can endanger an entire crew’s safety and morale.
The BLM Challenge was developed to provide the wildland fire community with a comprehensive, easy-to-follow fitness program that addresses pre-season, fire-season, and post-season fitness needs. This program attempts to address the specific needs of wildland firefighters who deal with complex, high-stress situations that require not only muscular strength but also muscular endurance, cardiovascular conditioning, and flexibility for prolonged periods of time while under duress.