Cancer survivor shares US Forest Service experience, encourages others to attend hiring events

The live job fair event will be held on January 24 & 25, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Fresno.

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Thursday, January 19, 2023
Cancer survivor shares US Forest Service experience, encourages others to attend hiring events
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The US National Forest Service is encouraging men and more women to join, especially during historic wildfire seasons.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Kaleena Lynde started her firefighting career with the Forest Service as a fire apprentice in 2004 on the Shasta Trinity National Forest.

In her 19 years of service, she has worked on fire engines and a hotshot crew.

At 22 years old, during her fourth year of firefighting, she was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer.

"I was in such fear, and it definitely takes a hit to the ego. I was 22 -- I was at the height of my physical fitness. Then all of a sudden, I am a patient," says Kaleena.

After her diagnosis, she worked in dispatch and training while going through chemo and radiation for more than three years.

Eventually, she transitioned back out into the field in the Eldorado National Forest working in fire prevention, education and investigation.

She is among the 10 to 25% of women working in firefighting for the government agency.

Kaleena mentions, "The family dynamic that you get with the people you work with is really an extension of your normal family. You spend so much time together, you learn so much about each other, you just become like brothers and sisters."

The US forest service will be holding a job fair in Fresno at the end of January.

They will be hiring hundreds of new firefighters across the state.

"We are seeing unprecedented fire seasons, I know when we have ever seen. We need more firefighters to help us because not only are there more fires, but the fires are bigger," Kaleena explains.

The live job fair event will be held on January 24 & 25, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Fresno.

If you're interested in joining, the Forest Service Lynde suggests bringing two forms of identification and a resume.

For details on the firefighter job fair event, click here.