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Helena Interagency Hotshot Crew

2014 will mark 43 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.

Assignment 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.

Regardless of the specific assignment, work consists of extended periods of physically demanding labor under difficult environmental conditions. Living conditions while on assignments are primitive.

Fire assignments 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.



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