The two firefighters who lost their lives recently were part of
a Hotshot crew. The crews have 20 firefighters and there are
only about 107 Hotshot crews in the country. They must pass
demanding physical tests followed by mental training. If they
pass the pack test, walking about three miles with a 45 pound
pack on in 45 minutes or less, they move on to more tests.
The crews are on call 24/7 and don’t know where they’re going
when called or how long they’ll be there. They are often dropped
into rugged, remote terrain and then fight the fires with what
they carried in with them.
Those who fight wildfires often refer to a measurement called
chains. A chain is 66 feet long and one of these crews can cut
several chains per hour in a fire line. When they finish for the
day and return to camp about all they want is a hot meal, a
shower, and a place to lay down and get some sleep.
Before 1930 there were no professional wildland firefighters
and people were hired as-needed without any training. The
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), began in 1930 and ran until
around 1942. The CCC utilized workers for fire suppression and
thus became the first crews trained to fight wildfires.
The first organized hotshot crews grew out that and some of the
first crews were the Del Rosa and Los Padres Hotshots in 1946 or
perhaps the Del Rosa and El Cariso Hotshots in 1947.
Much respect and a hand salute goes out to all those who fight
these fires, the support groups on site, and everyone who lends
a hand when things get hot. You do not get enough recognition
for the sacrifices you make.
To learn more about one of the recent fallen firefighters, go
to the memorial blog.
For more information on Interagency Hotshot Crews to their
Enjoy our Monday. That means all evidence of the county fair
will soon be gone and the fairgrounds will move on to other
events. And I might have a pizza.
Comments are always welcome.