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Sunday September 22nd 2019

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Geronimo Hot Shots


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The First Nations People make up a large portion of the “Hot Shot” teams through out the USA. They travel all over the United States fighting forest fires, etc, where ever they are called. Its a place where our Warriors can be Warriors, protecting our Mother and her children…that which is part of their creation.
anonymous post to a prison blog, 2004

We saw the vehicles and gear of the Geronimo Hot Shots crew heading down Mapleton Ave. from Sunshine Canyon tonight (9/11/2010).  Curious about them, I found these images and a bit of information.  The Geronimo Hot Shots are from the San Carlos Apache Reservation and are employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  One of seven Native American Hot Shot crews, they serve the entire Southwest during the forest fire season.  Nationwide, there are 90 Hot Shot crews.  These elite, 20-member teams are sent to the most dangerous, high-priority wildfires.

Hotshot crews travel by truck, van or plane, and to get to more remote fires, crews hike or are flown in by helicopter. Crew members pack all the water and supplies needed for work shifts that frequently exceed 12 hours or longer. Crews sleep on the ground and are lucky to get a shower every couple of days. As a rule Hotshots are among the nation’s leading wildfire professionals and the work they perform is often the turning point on a fire. Their specialty is wildfire suppression, but they are sometimes assigned other jobs, including search and rescue and disaster response assistance.

Each Hot Shot undergoes extensive training and must be able to perform a number of physical feats within prescribed time limits, such as hiking 3 miles carrying a 45-lb pack in under 45 minutes.  Given the expertise, bravery and hardship conditions, one might expect that the Hot Shots were fairly well paid.  A Geronimo Hot Shot superintendent makes $46,625 per year.  Crew members start at about $25,500.

If you have any information about the role these courageous fellows played in putting out the Fourmile fire, please feel free to contact the Blue Line.  You may contact the Geronimo Hot Shots at geronimoIhc@forestry.scat-nsn.gov.

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