Winema Interagency Hotshot Crew

Hotshot crew goup photo in front of truckThe Winema Interagency Hotshot Crew is a highly trained wildland fire suppression crew that is hosted by the Fremont-Winema National Forest in south central Oregon.

The crew is comprised of a diverse group of men and women who spend their summers fighting forest fires and responding to natural disasters throughout the country.

By being mission oriented and safety conscious, the Winema Hotshot Crew strive for excellence in every assignment, continuing the tradition of professionalism, integrity and esprit de corps as our foundation. 

 

Crew Operations

Photo of the Winema Hotshots preparing to board a Sierra Pacific aircraft to go to a fire assignmenHotshot crews are a national shared resource available for dispatch to any part of the United States. During the fire season crew members are required to be available for dispatch within two hours of notification. This limits individual ability to travel during time off and requires a great deal of commitment and dedication to the program.

The season begins in April with two weeks of annual training prior to dispatch availability. The crew is available for fire assignment until October when seasonal employee 1039-hour appointment limits expire. Fire suppression duties vary from line construction and burnout to mop-up and rehabilitation. When not on fire assignments, the crew performs project work such as prescribed burning and fuels reduction.

Living conditions while on assignments can be primitive. Hot meals, soft beds, and regular showers are not to be expected. Field assignments away from home can last several weeks with daily work shifts up to 16 hours. Sleep deprivation is probable as is routine exposure to dust, smoke, poison oak, and other environmental hazards.

Crew positions are mentally and physically demanding - not everyone is suited for the work. Wildland firefighting requires strength, stamina, composure, and a positive attitude. Equally important is the ability to work as part of a team and to remain enthusiastic in the face of adversity. During fire assignments the crew works, eats, and sleeps as a team. Professionalism, teamwork, and integrity are the foundation of the crew. We take pride in the quality of our work and expect a great deal from our crew members.

 

Crew Structure

The Winema IHC consists of 10 permanent seasonals and 10 temporary seasonals. The 10 permanent seasonals include:

  • one GS-9 Superintendent;
  • one GS-8 Assistant Superintendent;
  • three GS-7 Squad Leaders; and
  • five GS-5 Senior Firefighters.

The 10 temporary positions on the crew are generally hired at the GS-4 level, depending on the experience of the individual crew member.

Organization Chart

  • IHC Superintendent: Neil Austin - (541) 885-3460
  • IHC Assistant Supt.: David Lilly - (541) 885-3470
  • Squad Leaders:
    • Charlie Hescock
    • Justin Reece
    • Karl Krauter