Fire and Aviation Management - Carson Interagency Hotshots

Carson Interagency Hotshots
Mission Statement

Provide service to the American People by performing our mission to protect life, property and our natural resources. In safely accomplishing our mission, we, the Carson Hotshots, will uphold our core values of teamwork, integrity, and respect. The results of our labor shall always reflect our pride in workmanship and belief in service before self.

Carson Hotshots

The Carson Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC) was established in 1973. Carson IHC is a highly skilled, professional, dedicated, 20 person team that specializes in wildland fire suppression. Hotshot crews are a national resource that can respond to all-risk emergency situations within the scope of their capabilities.

Because of their high level organization, training and skills, hotshot crews are often assigned to the most demanding tasks. Regardless of the specific assignment, the work consists of extended periods of physically demanding labor in complex situations under difficult or adverse environmental conditions.  

Carson Hotshots prides itself in its excellence in hard work, professionalism, and a positive, friendly work environment. Working on the Carson Hotshots means being committed not only to the job, but also being to the lifestyle that follows. Our standards are high and we expect only the best from each team member. Come prepared, come motivated, and come in tip-top shape.

Click on a heading below to learn more about the Carson Interagency Hotshots.

Crew History

The Carson National Forest began researching and planning for a Hotshot Crew in 1970.  In 1972 the National Fire Plan was introduced and the Carson National Forest did not receive the required funding they had hoped for to start an IHC.  The Forest Fire Management Officer petitioned the Regional Office stating that Northern New Mexico needed a crew not only for fire suppression but to help stimulate a very weak economy.  The Regional Office denied the request to start an IHC on the Carson. The FMO then submitted a funding request to Washington Office where approval was received. The Carson Interagency Hotshot Crew was established in March of 1973 to stimulate the economy of Taos and the surrounding communities. 

The Carson Hotshots were originally based in El Rito, NM.  Lack of support from the District Ranger, in addition to the rural setting of El Rito caused the crew’s location to change shortly after its inception.  The Crew was moved to Penasco, NM where the crew resided for over 20 years. In 1995, the Carson Hotshots were relocated to the Supervisor’s Office in Taos NM, where the crew presently operates.. 

In 1973, The Crew’s organization consisted of one permanent Hotshot Foreman position and two temporary Squad Boss positions, with the remaining personnel being temporary crewmembers. 

In 1992, the Foreman position was reclassified to Superintendent and a permanent seasonal Assistant Superintendent position was established.  In 1998, two permanent seasonal Squad Boss positions were added.

Currently, the crew has nine appointed positions: Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, three Squad Leaders and four Senior Firefighters.

Crew Supervision

JJ Dominguez:  1973 – 1979
Adolfo Lopez:  1980  - 1983
Chester Romero:   1984 - 1995
Ron Bollier:  1996 – 1997
Stu Gore:   2001
Paul Delmerico  2002 - 2012
Rich Sack:  2013 - 2016

Tim Memmer 2016- Present

Physical Fitness

Carson IHC places a strong emphasis on physical fitness and physical training. A Hotshot’s performance and personal safety depends on an individual’s ability to respond to rapidly changing situations in adverse conditions under extreme physical and emotional stress. As such, Carson IHC expects its employees to arrive in top physical condition, and challenges each employee to further develop their physical fitness and training programs.

Fitness Standard: All IHC personnel shall meet the sponsor agency’s current Arduous Duty fitness standard for fire line personnel (Pack test). Meeting this fitness standard by the end of the Critical 80 Hour Training period will be considered a condition of continuing employment for all personnel on the crew. A medical examination will be required prior to employment.

Fitness Measure: The Hotshot fitness measure is described in the “Standards For Interagency Hotshot Crew Operations.” These measurements are considered minimums, and are used to gauge the fitness level of each individual, as well as the performance of the crew as a whole. Each employee will be tested in these fitness categories on the first day of work.

  • 1.5 mile run in a time of 10:35 or less
  • 40 sit-ups in 60 seconds
  • 25 pushups in 60 seconds
  • Chin-ups, based on body weight:
    • More than 170 lbs. = 4 chin-ups
    • 135-170 lbs. = 5 chin-ups
    • 110- 13 5 lbs. = 6 chin-ups
    • Less than 110 lbs. = 7 chin-ups

Carson IHC trains as a crew throughout the fire season. Physical training activities include but are not limited to: 3-7 mile runs, full-gear hikes over varied/rugged terrain, strength training, and flexibility training.


Carson IHC provides an annual 80 hours of required training prior to availability for fire assignments. This includes classroom training, field exercises, and intense physical training to emphasize and ensure crew safety awareness and effective crew operations. Furthermore, Carson IHC strives to improve the credentials and skills of its employees by providing training with simulated exercises, on-the-job trainings, as well as NWCG certified courses.

Work Center/Housing

The Carson IHC work center and government housing facility is located approximately 3 miles from the town plaza in Taos, NM.  The work center is fully equipped to provide the working needs of an IHC and is independent from any adjacent ranger districts. The housing facility has 14 beds and is available to employees on a first come first serve basis. The facility was completed in 2003, is fully furnished and overlooks the town of Taos.
The town of Taos is located at 7,000 feet on a high-desert plateau, surrounded by mountains including New Mexico’s highest mountain: Wheeler Peak at 13,161ft. Approximately 10 miles to the west lies the majestic Rio Grande Gorge. Recreation abounds in the Taos area, with spectacular hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowmobiling, white-water rafting, fishing, hunting, and OHV opportunities!  Santa Fe is located 70 miles to the South and Albuquerque is 130 miles to the South. Further information regarding Taos and the surrounding area click on the following link
Taos New Mexico Chamber of Commerce Official Website

Employment Opportunities

Carson Hotshots has 9 Permanent Career positions with varying tours of duty. Vacancies are filled using the Southwestern Region’s centralized “Fire Hire” process. For vacancy information visit the website at:  Applicants must be 18 years of age at the time of hire and provide proof of U.S. citizenship. Applications can be submitted via USA JOBS available on the internet at:

Vacancy announcements for temporary seasonal positions with the Carson Hotshots have been updated on the Forest Service’s  Region 3 website. Here is a link for the outreach and instructions on how to apply. 

For more information or further questions, please contact Assistant Superintendent Nate Draeger at or 575-758-6244.

 NOTE: The GS-0462-05 Position falls under the Interagency Fire Program Management Standard’s Senior Firefighter category which requires minimum qualifications of:  FFT1 (Firefighter Type 1) and S-290 (Intermediate Fire Behavior)

The policy of the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, religion, sex, or disability, familial status, or political affiliation. Persons believing they have been discriminated against in any Forest Service related activity should write to: Chief, Forest Service, USDA, P.O. Box 96090, Washington, DC 20090-6090

Contact Information

Further information regarding open positions on the Carson Hotshots can be directed to the Hotshot Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent at the following contact information.

  • Superintendent: 575-758-6243
  • Assistant Superintendent: 575-758-6244

Useful Links

Crew Fire Photos