Forest Service announces certification of Tallac Hotshots

Release Date: Jul 7, 2014  

Contact(s): Public Affairs, Cheva Gabor (530) 543-2608, or Lisa Herron (530) 543-2815

[Image]: United States Forest Service Shield.South Lake Tahoe, Calif., --The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) is proud to announce the Lake Tahoe Basin is now home to a select force of wildland firefighters, the Tallac Hotshots. On June 19, 2014, a group of 20 determined firefighters from the LTBMU completed a demanding and extensive certification process to become the first Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC) from Lake Tahoe. Formerly the Tallac Hand Crew, the Tallac Hotshots join an exclusive group of roughly 2,000 firefighters across the country.

“These crew members have spent countless hours honing their skills and building strong relationships that are paramount to successfully conducting fire suppression work for the Forest Service,” said Forest Supervisor Nancy Gibson. “Now, as a national resource, they will be available to serve all of us, including our interagency partners, in protecting life, property, and natural resources during wildfire suppression activities.”

The Tallac Hand Crew was established in 2001 as part of a nationwide buildup of resources intended to provide a maximum level of preparedness as directed by the Forest Service National Fire Plan. The original intent of the crew was to perform fuels management projects and to be available for wildland fire response. The crew evolved through extensive training, recruitment, and leadership retention to become a highly skilled 20 person crew. The primary mission of an IHC is to provide a safe, professional, mobile and highly skilled hand crew for all phases of fire management and incident operations.

The Tallac Hotshots provide a valued resource to the Lake Tahoe community by carrying out initial attack for wildfires that occur in and around the Lake Tahoe Basin. They also provide training for the Forest Service Wildland Firefighter Apprentice Academy and the Lake Tahoe Community College Fire Academy. 

Hotshot crews consist of 20 firefighters specifically trained in wildfire suppression tactics. Hotshots provide initial attack response for fast-moving fires in remote regions and are trained to meet the most stringent physical requirements. Within two hours of receiving orders, Hotshots can be ready to travel anywhere in the country and are often flown in to steep terrain where they fight fires using only the equipment they can carry. Hotshots are on call 24/7, work extended shifts and battle the most dangerous, complex, and intense wildfires. Hotshots can respond to all types of national emergencies including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes and other disasters.

For general information on Forest Service Hotshot crews, visit

For more information on the Tallac Hotshots, visit


The newly certified Tallac Hotshot Crew poses in front of Lake Tahoe

Photo Caption:  LTBMU Forest Supervisor Nancy Gibson, Fire Management Officer Kit Bailey and Assistant Fire Management Officer Steve Burns pose with newly certified Tallac Hotshots.

Photo Credit:  U.S. Forest Service Photo