EUGENE, Ore. – Firefighters go through extensive training before taking on a fire, but Hotshot crews go through even more intense training.
Hotshot crews in the Siskiyou National Forest are some of the strongest firefighters around.
Firefighters at Grayback Forestry Inc. say for just basic training they do 40 hours of classroom training with a field day, on top of hours of a refresher course for experienced fighters.
“They’re the strongest we have in the fire organization. They’re what a lot of our young firefighters want to inspire to, it is what we call a type one firefighter or a Hotshot,” said Kevin Donham, Aviation Staff Officer.
Donham says a Hotshot crew stays together for a season, which typically lasts about five to six months. He says that these crews, also known as type-one level, are a scarce resource.
When a big fires happens, Hotshot crews are required because of their intense training.