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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 427H
Category: Legal Services


Conducts complex criminal and civil investigations within the jurisdiction of the Department of Natural Resources. Determines the origin and cause of forest and other fires, conducts fire cost recovery activities.  Conducts follow-up investigations for the Attorney General and County Prosecutor's staff.  Leads and/or supervises other investigators and lower level investigators in extended investigations.

Typical Work

Conducts origin and cause determination investigations for forest and other fires or trains and inspects fire cause determinations of qualified field staff; writes investigation reports; recommends cost recovery actions and on approval, coordinates actions with Assistant Attorney General and County Prosecutors; 

Conducts surveillance and preserves evidence; interviews and takes statement of witnesses or other involved parties, such as suspects; develops case files; testifies in court; 

Teaches fire investigation to other department employees and cooperating interagency employees; 

Manages the agency investigation/cost recovery data and related databases. May perform research and analysis of other fire investigation programs/data.

Manages the agency investigation/cost recovery data and related databases.  May perform research and analysis of other fire investigation programs/data.

Functions as the principal contact between the regional office and other law enforcement and investigative agencies; 

Participates in development of policies, procedures, controls and training programs pertaining to investigation activities; 

Tracks fire billing for costs recovery on region fires; makes necessary contacts on delinquent fire bills; 

Conducts accident investigations; 

Performs other work as required.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

Completion of the following national fire qualifications: Incident Command System (ICS); Introduction (ICS-100); National Incident Management System (NIMS); Introduction (IS700); Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior (S-190); Wildland Fire Observations and Origin Scene Protection for First Responders (FI-110); Wildland Fire Origin and Cause Determination (FI-210); and completion and certification of the Wildland Fire Investigator Task Book (INVF).


Five years’ experience investigating wildfires with successful completion of at least 20 wildland fire investigations, including cost recovery and reporting.

A valid driver's license is required. 

Note: A criminal background check will be conducted due to the sensitive and confidential nature of the positions.

Class Specification History

New class: 12-15-89
Revised definition, minimum qualifications, title change (formerly Fire Investigator - DNR): 4-15-94
Revised minimum qualifications: 4-11-97
Extended probationary period: 1-11-02
New class code: (formerly 41980) effective July 1, 2007
Revised definition; adopted June 30, 2015; effective July 1, 2015