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Redding IHC LogoRedding IHC Crew History

The Redding Interagency Hotshot Crew was the first hotshot crew in the nation
to offer a concentrated fire management training detail opportunity. Potential fire management personnel who are detailed to a crew like this at an early stage in their careers are able to gain experience and training that they might take years to receive - or never obtain at their home unit.

The program was initially developed in 1967, and functioned as one of the Pacific Southwest Region's three Interregional Suppression Crews along with the Del Rosa IR Crew on the San Bernardino National Forest and the El Cariso IR Crew on the Cleveland. It remained an interregional crew until 1980, when the interregional concept was abolished nationwide and all category one crews were reclassified as "Interagency Hotshot Crews." The crew's training and career development concept was much the same in 1967 as it is today, but throughout the years it has been modified to its present concept and mission.

From 1967 to 1971 the crew functioned as a detail training opportunity. The crew organization consisted of one permanent full-time GS 462-7 and 19 detailers, two being recruited primarily to function in the hotshot captain positions. The primary target audiences at that time were foresters in need of large crew and large fire experience. The formalized training curriculum during that period offered the detailer a variety of fire suppression and fire management subjects geared toward preparing the individual at the Sector Boss level.

By 1971 the pool of available foresters fell short of the level needed to justify continuation of the program under its original concept. In 1972 the crew converted to the conventional hotshot crew concept. From 1972 to 1973 seasonal crewmembers were hired. Training was accomplished only to the extent to meet agency requirements for Category 1 Hotshot Crews. The crew performed conventional project work on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest when not assigned fire duties.

After the 1973 fire season, the detail concept was reestablished. The original emphasis on foresters as the primary target audience was relaxed, and forestry technicians began to fill a majority of the 17 allocated positions. During this new era, the overhead structure consisted of a GS-462-7 Superintendent and two GS-462-6 Captains. Classroom and field training continued to emphasize a fire suppression curriculum but also included supervision subjects. During the winter of 1977, the superintendent and one captain position were reclassified as "Fire and Training Specialists." The reclassification increased the grade structure of the crew superintendent to a GS-462-9, and one captain to a GS-462-7. The second captain remained a GS-462-6.

From 1981 through 1986, foresters filled a small percentage of the crew positions. Local North Zone FMO's expressed the need to reemphasize the participation of foresters who were interested in a career in fire management and who had demonstrated a potential to become future large fire managers.

Early in 1985, a steering committee was formed to assist the Redding Hotshot unit with modifying the program to include training in timber sale planning, prescribed fire management, and fire prevention. In 1991, the curriculum was updated again to better meet the needs of fire managers and the incoming crews. The adjustment in the academic curriculum deleted the training in fire prevention and prescribed fire management. In their place, Fuels Management and Ecosystem Planning, S-230 Crew Boss, S-234 Firing Boss, and S-260 Fire Business Management were added.

In 2002, the crews’ training curriculum was again modified to provide more leadership opportunities to crewmembers that focus on the small-unit (squad) level. This current program provides the detailer with as much exposure to as wide a variety of ideas, people, management philosophies, and experiences as possible.

In 1992, due to budget restrictions, the Redding crew was temporarily abolished. The crew returned in 1993, but without the training concept. As in 1972-73, the crew functioned as a conventional hotshot crew for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, hiring a mix of career-conditional and temporary employees. In 1994, at the request of fire management in the region, the training program was reestablished, concentrating on forestry technicians in need of large crew and large fire experience. In 1995 the overhead structure changed again - to one GS-462-9 superintendent with two GS-462-7 captains. In 1997, a national reclassification changed the grade structure of the crew captains to GS-462-8. Currently the overhead structure consists of two GS-462-8 captains.

For more information on the Redding IHC, email Dan Mallia