Lolo National Forest Interagency Hotshot Crew

Lolo Interagency Hotshot Crew poses for a photo on a ridgetop

What is a Hotshot and what do they do?

Hotshots are highly skilled wildland firefighters that are called into action for complex, technically difficult and challenging firefighting assignments around the country. Hotshots earned their name because they typically work on the hottest, toughest parts of wildfires.

While on a fire assignment, a Hotshot carries packs of tools and gear that may weigh up to 45 pounds and works 14 to 16 hours shifts, hiking through rugged terrain to suppress wildfires. Known for their elite skill with chainsaws and dealing with wildfire on the ground, these firefighters are extremely capable, determined and committed to the work at hand. Hotshots are a key firefighting resource when it comes to protecting life, property and natural resources from the impacts of large-scale and intense wildfire.

The Lolo National Forest is proud to be the home base of the Lolo Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC), a highly trained and skilled group that provides a safe, organized, and mobile response to all aspects of wildland fire management, fire use, along with other forest and recreation management skills.

Firefighter stands on a ridge overlooking a wildfire. A drip torch is on the ground.What does it take to be Hotshot?

All Hotshots must meet the same stringent standards for physical fitness, training, leadership, qualifications, and operational procedures, as outlined in the Standards for Interagency Hotshot Crew Operations. The physical ability of Hotshot crews to perform arduous labor is critical to crew morale, personal health and safety standards. The Lolo Interagency Hotshots are made up of 1 superintendent, 1 assistant superintendent, 3 squad leaders, 6 senior fire firefighters and 10 temporary employees.

Who we are: Members of the Lolo Interagency Hotshot Crew conduct themselves professionally, always putting safety first, and representing and building on the Lolo IHC tradition and reputation of professionalism and work ethic. This type of work is for team players who work well with others, usually in intense situations, yet thrive in making decisions independently. Respect for team members and cooperators is imperative and foundational to everything a Hotshot does.

Please direct any job-related questions to Lolo IHC Superintendent Shawn Faiella (406) 829-7000.

History

The Lolo Interagency Hotshots were founded in 1961 as one of the first organized crews in the United States, based in Missoula, Montana. The Lolo ICH received its first dispatch in 1969 to fight the Russian River Fire in Alaska. Among many notable achievements, the Lolo ICH became the first Hotshot crew in the nation to have a a woman as Crew Superintendent in 1989,leading the way for other women leaders in wildland firefighting.

Lolo IHC on Alberta Fire