Exam Bulletin - Forestry Assistant II (1093)

Department of Forestry & Fire Protection

Exam Code: EX-1616

Examination Plans Included:


Final Filing Date: 6/15/2024

Classification Details

FORESTRY ASSISTANT II: $4,899.00 - $6,975.00 per Month

View the FORESTRY ASSISTANT II classification specification.

Application Instructions

Final Filing Date: 6/15/2024.

Examination/Employment Application (STD 678) must be received or postmarked by the filing date indicated above. Applications postmarked, personally delivered or received via interoffice mail after the filing date will not be accepted.

Dates printed on Mobile Bar Codes, such as the Quick Response (QR) Codes available at the USPS, are not considered Postmark dates for the purpose of determining timely filing of an application.

If using the United States Postal Service (USPS) for delivery, there is no guarantee that your application will be postmarked and arrive by the final filing date. If your application does not have a postmark and arrives after the final filing date, your application may not be accepted into the examination. Therefore, to ensure timely delivery of your application, it is recommended that you use either parcel service, or certified mail. Using one of these options will provide proof the application was sent prior to the final filing date.

Who Should Apply:

The information below will help you determine which classification(s) is(are) appropriate for you. Applicants must meet the Minimum Qualifications as stated on this bulletin to compete in this examination.

Open and Open, Non-Promotional Examination(s):


All applicants must meet the education and/or experience requirements by the final filing date of June 15, 2024, unless otherwise noted. 

  • Once you have participated in this examination, you may not test again for six (6) months.
  • Applicants who have not passed probation in this classification are encouraged to apply.

How To Apply:

Submit an Examination/Employment Application (STD 678) to apply for this examination.

Electronic applications can be submitted through your account at www.CalCareers.ca.gov.

You may apply by mail to:

  • Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
    Attention: Examination Unit
    710 Riverpoint Court
    West Sacramento, CA 95605

Indicate the Examination Code and Classification(s) on your Examination/Employment Application (STD 678).

You may drop off your application and any applicable or required documents at:

  • Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
    Attention: Examination Unit
    710 Riverpoint Court
    West Sacramento, CA 95605
    8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Indicate the Examination Code and Classification(s) on your Examination/Employment Application (STD 678). All applicants must provide proof of identification. Accepted forms of identification are: 1) a photo identification card or 2) two forms of signed identification.

Please note the following:

1.) A State Application (STD 678) is REQUIRED and must be submitted.

2). A Training and Experience (T&E) Narrative document is also REQUIRED and must be submitted.

3.) All applicants must include "from" and "to" employment dates (month/day/year), time base, and applicable civil service class titles on their STD 678. Applications received without this information may be rejected.

4.) A copy of your unofficial transcripts and/or diploma showing proof of coursework/completion/graduation is required ONLY IF you are using education to meet the minimum qualifications (Pattern III). 


The following items must be submitted with your Examination/Employment Application form. Failure to submit these items may result in rejection of your application.

  • Other - Training and Experience (T&E) Narrative

Special Testing Arrangements:

If you require assistance or alternative testing arrangements due to a disability, indicate on your application that you need reasonable accommodation. You will be contacted by a representative of the testing department to make the necessary arrangements. If you have not been contacted by the time you receive notification of testing, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

If you are unable to submit your application or complete the test due to a disability, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

Minimum Qualifications

All applicants must meet the education and/or experience requirements as stated on this exam bulletin to be accepted to the examination.


Either I

Three years of experience in California state service performing the duties of a Forestry Assistant I. (Candidates who are within six months of meeting experience requirements may take the examination but cannot be appointed until they have obtained the required experience.)


Five years of progressively responsible resource management experience. (Qualifying experience includes: reforestation, timber harvest operations, urban forestry, or other related forestry work; environmental protection work; fire control experience in the California Department of Forestry, of which a minimum of two years must have been at a level of responsibility equivalent to the class of Fire Apparatus Engineer.)


Education: Equivalent to graduation from college with a degree in forestry, natural resource management, conservation, or a closely related subject. (Registration as a senior will admit applicants to the examination, but they must produce evidence of graduation or its equivalent before they can be considered eligible for appointment.)


Hearing, physical strength, dexterity and agility necessary to perform the duties of the position; and aptitude and liking for forestry work.

Position Description


This is the first working level in the series. Incumbents assist Foresters and State Forest Rangers in performing the most complex technical assignments in resource management and assume lead responsibility over lower level technicians. They may also perform as specialists responsible for a specific segment of a program area. As part of the Department's emergency response team, during fire season incumbents will perform fire control or other emergency duties for which they have been trained at a level of responsibility comparable to the classification of Fire Captain and may occasionally perform such assignments at other times. Rotation in assignments at this level is planned experience for employee development.

Incumbents at this level will be encouraged to pursue formal academic course work and will be enrolled in "Continuing Education for Foresters" as necessary to enhance job performance and career advancement. In addition, persons entering State service at this level will, as necessary, receive in a timely manner and prior to working in emergency assignments, all training specific to the Forestry Technician and Forestry Assistant I levels. One of the requirements for permanent status in this class is successful completion of the required training.


Willingness to work long and irregular hours, to work in remote parts of the State, to work on Sundays and holidays, and during the summer season to remain on duty 24 hours a day, as required, restricted to duty assignments; adaptability, tact, and neat personal appearance.


Possession of a valid California driver license of the appropriate class issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Examination Information

This examination consists of the following component(s):

Component OrderComponent TypeComponent DuePercentage of Final Score
1Supplemental ReportWith Application100%

Components that are due with your application will be scored and will count toward your final examination result. Failure to submit these items may result in disqualification or elimination from the examination.

A final score of 70% must be attained to be placed on the eligible list.


In this type of examination the T&E Narrative document IS THE EXAMINATION. 

The T&E Narrative is a written document that responds to the questions listed below. 

An evaluation of the Narrative documents will be conducted by a rating panel consisting of CAL FIRE subject matter experts (SMEs) (in July 2024). The rating panel will compare each candidates' Narrative responses against standardized, pre-determined rating criteria. The examination questions below were derived from the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) listed in this bulletin.

When preparing your T&E Narrative document please respond to the following three (3) examination questions:

  1. Describe three (3) or more of the following forestry skills and/or subject areas and why they are important in resource management: Map reading, cruising methods, stocking survey, silviculture, dendrology.
  2. You are the project lead working on one (1) work site with multiple crews. All crew members are working as normal when you notice a crew member suffers a moderate-to-severe injury. What steps would you take in handling this situation?
  3. You are assisting a Registered Professional Forester (RPF) on a project plan and come across an unmapped/unclassified water course. What steps would you take to assess, document and protect the water course?

In addition to responding to the questions above, your T&E Narrative document MUST follow the instructions listed below. Failure to follow these instructions may result in disqualification from the testing process:

  • Nothing smaller than Arial 10-point font.
  • Limit your responses to no more than a total of three (3) pages (Only the first three pages will be scored)
  • Your document must be typewritten (NO handwritten narratives).
  • Please clearly label the number that corresponds to the question to which you are responding. 
  • You may include multiple responses on a single page. 
  • Please place your name on each page of your narrative.

Complete and submit the following items with your application. These will be scored and count toward your final examination result. Failure to submit these items will result in disqualification from the examination.

In addition to evaluating the applicant's relative knowledge, skill and ability as demonstrated by quality and breadth of education/experience, emphasis in each test component will be on measuring competitively, relative to job demands, each applicant's:

Knowledge of:

1. Good resource management principles and practices.

2. Basic conservation techniques.

3. The various Department of Forestry program functions and their elements.

4. Stocking survey work.

5. Resource management grant evaluation techniques.

6. Basic fire control methods and equipment.

7. Map reading.

8. Cruising methods.

9. Silviculture.

10. Dendrology.

11. Elementary forest practices.

12. Fire prevention and suppression methods.

13. Land management.

14. Forest disease and pest evaluation policies and procedures.

15. Ground check procedures.

16. Burn and land management plan preparation.

17. Forestry inventory procedures.

18. Timber sales preparation.

19. Fire behavior.

20. Different species of trees and plants for correct identification to apply to forest management and to assist and educate the public.

21. California Forest Practice Act to promote sustainable forest and resource protection.

22. Forest measurement tools used for field measurements of trees and slope of the ground for accurate recording of data.

23. Basic computer software programs to electronically compile and analyze data to produce reports.

24. California Environmental Quality Act to identify the significant environmental impacts of forestry and other projects on the natural resources of California.

25. Mapping methods and practices to accurately interpret mapping data for use in Resource Management, forest practice, and fire suppression.

26. Sylvicultural practices for controlling the establishment, growth, composition, and health of forests.

27. Office management tools and procedures to maintain accurate records for program requirements.

28. Environmental review processes for State and Federal laws for compliance with State and Federal environmental documentation laws.

29. Watershed management and erosion control methods to protect forest resources to comply with State laws and regulatory requirements and Department standards.

30. Fire behavior sufficient to employ appropriate suppression strategies and tactics to meet the Department’s mission to provide safety and protection of the public and natural resources.

31. Various forest harvesting methods and practices to ensure that equipment and practices are utilized to protect all forest resources from misuse.

32. Reforestation practices and principles to ensure adequate regeneration of forestlands.

33. The process of a timber harvest plan to assist the Registered Professional Forester in preparing the plan for harvesting purposes.

34. Forest mensuration science to measure the contents of standing and felled timber to estimate growth and yields as it applies to forest management.

35. Pest management concepts, methods, and identification of forest and range pests to protect the natural resources.

36. Vegetation management to reduce fuel loading and manage fire potential.

37. Tree nursery production and seedling distribution to accomplish reforestation for the private sector and the natural resources of California.

38. California Urban Forestry Act and associated principles to promote sustainable urban forests.

39. Landowner assistance programs to assist individual landowners with land management planning.

Skill to:

1. Drive appropriate Department vehicles in all weather conditions and terrains.

2. Use all forestry tools and equipment accurately and efficiently according to Department policies and procedures.

Ability to:

1. Receive and understand instructions and to carry out assignments.

2. Interpret laws, rules, and regulations and apply them effectively.

3. Collect and evaluate data and prepare technical reports.

4. Work effectively, independently, or in a group setting.

5. Utilize good judgment and take appropriate action in emergency situations.

6. Understand and employ good safety practices.

7. Learn to operate a variety of forestry fire suppression tools and equipment.

8. Accept increasing responsibility in the level of difficulty of tasks performed.

9. Learn how to operate State fire suppression vehicles and equipment.

10. Perform as an experienced member of a fire suppression crew.

11. Compile and maintain detailed reports.

12. Perform cost analyses.

13. Accept lead responsibility for assigned projects.

14. Prioritize the work of lesser-experienced employees.

15. Supervise a fire crew in a fire station.

16. During emergency operations, effectively and safely operate State fire suppression engines.

17. Work cooperatively with other governmental and private entities.

18. Comprehend and orally communicate in English to exchange ideas and accomplish daily tasks.

19. Follow oral and written directions to accomplish daily tasks.

20. Work independently, make decisions, and take appropriate action with little or no direction in emergency and non-emergency situations.

21. Read and write in English to effectively exchange information and accomplish daily tasks.

22. Work cooperatively with other entities and agencies.

23. Communicate effectively with employees and management to exchange information and accomplish daily activities.

24. Communicate with the public and staff to represent the mission of CAL FIRE.

25. Recognize hazardous situations to avoid personal injury.

26. Work in a team environment to accomplish problem solving and decision making.

27. Implement the applicable safety practices, policies, and procedures for workplace safety and protection.

28. Perform arduous and physically demanding work in all weather conditions and terrain to meet the demands of the Department’s mission.

29. Read and interpret maps for navigation and project planning purposes.

30. Complete work commitments timely and efficiently.

31. Remain calm and perform effectively in high stress situations to perform job duties.

32. Prepare concise, accurate, and well written reports and correspondence.

33. Conduct complex technical assignments with minimal guidance while following all Department safety standards.

34. Work in emergency and non-emergency situations to accomplish the Department’s mission.

35. Travel long distances in emergency and non-emergency circumstances to accomplish the responsibilities of the Department.

36. Read and interpret reference manuals, training materials, data, and correspondence to acquire knowledge essential to the performance of the job.

37. Gather and analyze facts and data to provide effective reports and communications.

38. Use firefighting and other hand and power tools for forestry work and wildland firefighting sufficient to maintain a safe working environment.

39. Assess technical and administrative data to develop reports, briefings, and other documents.

40. Identify job related problems that may impact work performance and present solutions to minimize interruptions to operations.

41. Maintain databases for record keeping and inventory purposes.

42. Lead others in daily assignments through example.

43. Identify and evaluate vegetation conditions to determine appropriate management practices to apply.

Eligible List Information

A Departmental Open eligible list for the FORESTRY ASSISTANT II Classification will be established for:

  • Department of Forestry & Fire Protection

The names of successful competitors will be merged onto the eligible list(s) in order of final score regardless of test date. Eligibility expires 12 months after it is established. Applicants must then retake the examination to reestablish eligibility.

Resulting Eligibility List(s) will be used to fill vacancies throughout the State of California.

Successful candidates from this administration will be merged onto the current, existing eligibility list for the Forestry Assistant II classification. Candidates' list eligibility is guaranteed for a minimum of 12 months, but may be extended up to 48 months, depending on the needs of the Department. 

It is recommended that candidates apply for this examination if one or more of the following is true:

  • You are a Limited Term (LT) hire.
  • You have NOT passed probation in this classification.
  • You are a Temporary Appointment (TAU) hire. 
  • You are not on the current eligibility list.

Veterans' Preference will be granted for this examination. Veterans' Preference is an assistance program for veterans, veteran widows and widowers, and spouses of 100% disabled veterans who seek employment with the state. Veterans' Preference is also extended to currently serving military members nearing their retirement or separation date.

You are not eligible for Veteran's Preference if you are:

  • A veteran who has been dishonorably discharged or released.
  • A veteran, widow or widower of a veteran, or spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran who currently has permanent civil service status. (Permanent civil service status is the status of an employee who is lawfully retained in his/her position after completion of the applicable probationary period. This does not include limited term).

Veterans' Preference is codified in Government Code Sections 18973 – 18979.

Veteran status is verified by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). Directions to apply for Veterans' Preference are on the Veterans' Preference Application (Std. Form 1093), which is available at www.CalCareers.ca.gov, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Career Credits are not granted for examination(s) administered on an Open basis or a Promotional basis.

Testing Departments

  • Department of Forestry & Fire Protection

Contact Information

Questions regarding this examination should be directed to:

CAL FIRE Examination Unit
710 Riverpoint Ct
West Sacramento, CA 95605
Phone: (916) 894-9580

CAL FIRE Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator
710 Riverpoint Court
West Sacramento, CA 95605
Phone: (916) 894-9570 ext. Option 3

California Relay Service: 1-800-735-2929 (TTY), 1-800-735-2922 (Voice). TTY is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, and is reachable only from phones equipped with a TTY Device.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.

Drug Free Statement

It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free State work place. Any applicant for State employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective, because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing civil service, and the special trust placed in public servants.

General Information

Examination and/or Employment Application (STD 678) forms are available at the California Department of Human Resources, local offices of the Employment Development Department, and through your CalCareer Account (www.CalCareers.ca.gov).

If you meet the requirements stated on this examination bulletin, you may take this examination, which is competitive. Possession of the entrance requirements does not assure a place on the eligible list. Your performance in the examination described in this bulletin will be rated against a predetermined job-related rating, and all applicants who pass will be ranked according to their scores.

Department of Forestry & Fire Protection reserves the right to revise the examination plan to better meet the needs of the service, if the circumstances under which this examination was planned change. Such revision will be in accordance with civil service laws and rules and all applicants will be notified.

General Qualifications: Applicants must possess essential personal qualifications including integrity, initiative, dependability, good judgment, the ability to work cooperatively with others, and a state of health consistent with the ability to perform the assigned duties of the class. A medical examination may be required. In open examinations, investigation may be made of employment records and personal history and fingerprinting may be required.

Eligible Lists: Eligible lists established by competitive examination, regardless of date, must be used in the following order: 1) sub-divisional promotional, 2) departmental promotional, 3) multi-departmental promotional, 4) service-wide promotional, 5) departmental open, 6) open. When there are two lists of the same kind, the older must be used first. Eligible lists will expire in one to four years unless otherwise stated on the bulletin.

High School Equivalence: Equivalence to completion of the 12th grade may be demonstrated in any one of the following ways: 1) passing the General Education Development (GED) Test; 2) completion of 12 semester units of college-level work; 3) certification from the State Department of Education, a local school board, or high school authorities that the competitor is considered to have education equivalent to graduation from high school; or 4) for clerical and accounting classes, substitution of business college work in place of high school on a year-for-year basis.

Accepted applicants must provide proof of identification at each in-person test session. Acceptable identification consists of a photo identification card or two forms of signed identification.

Application Methods:
Electronic (Your CalCareer Account)
By Mail
In Person (see bulletin for details)
Alternate Application Process

While we recommend that you utilize your CalCareer Account to take advantage of all the tools available, you may choose to apply for this examination without using your account. In this case, print and complete the Exam Application Package Checklist and include it if you submit a hard copy application.

Exam Application Package Checklist

Blank Application Form (STD678)

Accommodation Request (STD679)