marks 40 years
of existence of an organized fire suppression crew on the Helena National
Forest. The Helena Interagency Hotshot Crew is a twenty-person crew with
a primary purpose of wild land fire suppression.
to emergency incidents requires extensive travel. The Helena IHC has been
assigned to all Regions of the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, as well as Canada.
The crew has performed project work for all Helena N.F. Ranger Districts,
the BLM and other adjoining National Forests. In addition to having had
responded to fires in all Forest Service regions, the crew has provided
its skills and expertise in emergency medical situations, search and rescue
operations, law enforcement assistance, fire training, Hurricanes Hugo,
Andrew, and Georges, wilderness fire management, and prescribed burning.
of the specific assignment, work consists of extended periods of physically
demanding labor under difficult environmental conditions. Living conditions
while on assignments are primitive.
away from home base usually last 14 days but can extend to 21 or more
days at a time. Daily work shifts can be 16 hours in length and in some
instances much longer. When not assigned to an emergency incident, the
crew will undertake various work projects or may be dedicated to training.