Programs & Services

Returning Heroes

  1. Home
  2. Contact Us
  3. Returning Heroes

Returning Heroes Wildland Firefighting Program

The Returning Heroes Wildland Firefighter Program provides veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces with training and work opportunities to fight wildland fires. Wildland crew members with RHP are Administratively Determined firefighters (AD’s), which means they are only called upon or hired during an actual wildland emergency. Each crew member follows the same qualification and training system as seasonal AD firefighters; however, preference goes to interested veterans first.

What we do. Fighting wildland fires is dynamic and physically demanding work. It is both challenging and deeply rewarding. In this program, you will learn and use vital skills to manage and combat wildland fires.

Who can become a Returning Hero Wildland Firefighter? To be eligible to participate, you are required to meet the following criteria:

  • Submit a completed AD Hire application.
  • In order to receive priority preference for hiring and work assignments, you must be a U.S. military veteran or reservist. Other candidates are encouraged to apply but will not receive priority preference.
  • Live within two hours of Santa Fe. While fire emergencies can happen anywhere, participants must report to the program’s headquarters to be dispatched to assignments.
  • Be able to remain on fire assignments for an extended period of time and be available at short notice (within two hours). Due to the unpredictable nature of the emergencies, involvement is seasonal and does not conform to a set schedule.
  • Have the physical capacity to work for an extended period of time. An example would be working for approximately 16 hours per day for 14 consecutive days.
  • Have the physical capacity to perform duties in steep and/or rugged terrain under adverse weather conditions, while carrying a pack weighing up to 45 pounds.
  • Complete the required training and physical fitness testing yearly.

For more information regarding the Returning Heroes Wildland Firefighter Program, call 505-474-9813 or contact Eugene Pino, Returning Heroes Program Supervisor, at

If you are ineligible for the Returning Heroes program but are interested in emergency wildland firefighting, there may be other opportunities available. Please contact your local Forestry District Office.

1085 Richards Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Map and Directions


Google Maps Location for Mobile Device Navigation

2022 Training Schedule

Nomination Form

2022 Electronic AD Hire Packet

Two white fire trucks against a blue sky A firefighter walks through fire Firefighters lined up against a burned mountainside A line of firefighters walking along a road