Land & Resources Management

Draft Fire page

Hotshot Crews | Engines| Water Tender | Heavy Equipment | Lookouts | Helitack Crews | Aviation Resources | Fire Prevention

Hotshot Crews

Recovering_from_the_rim_fire03post.jpgInteragency Hotshot Crews (IHC) are diverse teams of career and temporary agency employees who uphold a tradition of excellence and have solid reputations as multi-skilled professional firefighters. Their physical fitness standards, training requirements, operation procedures are consistent nationwide, as outlined in the Standards for Interagency Hotshot Crew Operations ( Hotshot crews have an excellent reputation throughout the United States and Canada as elite teams of professional wildland firefighters; they regularly hike long distances over rough terrain and use both power and hand tools to complete fire suppression operations.

We host 2 Hotshot Crews on the Stanislaus National Forest:

  •  Stanislaus Interagency Hotshot Crew (Duty Location: Sonora, CA) 
  • Groveland Interagency Hotshot Crew (Duty Location: Buck Meadows, CA) 


HandcrewOn the Stanislaus National Forest, we utilize Type III wildland fire engines that are typically staffed with five to seven firefighters. Our specialized engines carry equipment to spray water and foam and are equipped to respond to a variety of incidents. Engine crews also perform a variety of other wildland fire tasks, including: serving as initial attack forces, patrolling the Forest, responding to all risk incidents, and assisting with fuels management projects. 

We currently have 12 Engine modules on the Stanislaus National Forest:

  • Mi-Wok Ranger District (Highway 108)
    • Engine 12 (Duty Location: Long Barn, CA)
    • Engine 313 (Duty Location: Ponderosa Hills, CA)
    • Engine 314 (Duty Location: Phoenix Lake, CA)
  • Calaveras Ranger District (Highway 4)
    • Engine 322 (Duty Location: Dorrington, CA)
  • Summit Ranger District (Highway 108)‚Äč
    •  Engine 32 (Duty Location: Pinecrest, CA)
    •  Engine 333 (Duty Location: Brightman, CA)
    • Engine 34 (Duty Location: Dry Meadow, CA)
  • Groveland Ranger District (Highway 120)
    • Engine 42 (Duty Location: Buck Meadow, CA)
    • Engine 43 (Duty Location: MacDiarmid, CA)
    • Engine 344 (Duty Location: Cherry Lake, CA)
    • Engine 345 (Duty Location: Kinsley, CA)
  • Engine 346 (STF-YNP Co-Op) (Duty Location: Hodgdon Meadow – YNP)

Water Tender Operations

Water Tender OperatorsWater Tender Operators are responsible for driving and operating water tender vehicles on initial and extended attack fire suppression operations and fuels management activities. This includes operating the pump for drafting and ejecting water, setting up portable tanks, shuttling water on fires, completing dust abatement, etc.  Water Tender Operators often work in conjunction with Engine modules.

We currently have two Water Tender modules on the Stanislaus National Forest:

  • Water Tender 12 (Duty Location: Long Barn, CA) 
  • Water Tender 42 (Duty Location: Buck Meadow, CA) 

Heavy Equipment Operators 

Heavy Equipment Operators Heavy Equipment Operators operates one or more types of heavy equipment, such as graders, tractors with bulldozer or angle dozer blades, and large industrial tractors while completing work on all sorts of terrain. In addition to providing support during fire operations (such as building fireline and safety zones) they also drive a transport vehicle and assist with maintaining forest roads and compounds.  In addition, they often support other natural resource management and engineering projects (i.e. maintaining ditches, improving roads, clearing brush, removing tree stumps and rocks, etc.).

We currently have 3 Dozer modules on the Stanislaus National Forest, staffing 2 Dozers:

  • Dozer 51 & Dozer 52 (Duty Location: Sonora, CA)


Lookouts Fire lookouts work in remote towers where they watch for and report wildfires. They use specialized equipment to observe, plot, and report the locations of new fires. Fire lookouts spend days, weeks, or months by themselves in some of the wildest, most remote places in the country. Life is rustic in a fire tower, but fire lookouts have provided an invaluable service in wildfire management for 100 years.

We currently have 3 Lookouts on the Stanislaus National Forest:  

  • Mt. Elizabeth (Twain Harte, CA) 
  • Pilot Peak (Buck Meadow, CA) 
  • Smith Peak (Buck Meadow, CA) 


Helitack Crews

Helicopter OperationsHelitack crews are teams of firefighters who are transported by helicopter to wildfires. Helicopters provide rapid transport, enabling helitack crews to quickly respond and assess a wildfire situation, particularly during initial attack. Helitack crews may land near a wildfire or, if equipped and trained, rappel from a hovering helicopter. Once on the ground, crews build firelines using hand tools, chainsaws, and other firefighting tools. Helicopter crew members may also perform other duties such as tree falling, firing operations, delivering people and equipment, and managing helibases.

We currently have one Helitack module on the Stanislaus National Forest:

  • H-517 (Bald Mountain, CA) 


Aviation Resources

Aviation  Planes and helicopters are critical tools in managing wildland fire. Although aircraft are often used to fight wildfires, aircraft alone cannot put them out. The Forest Service uses planes of all types and sizes—not just airtankers— to manage wildland fire. For example, specially-equipped planes gather infrared imagery to help map fires. Fire managers in planes conduct “aerial supervision” and reconnaissance over fires to safely guide and direct other aircraft responding to the fire. Airtankers are fitted with tanks that carry large volumes of fire retardant to drop on a fire, which helps firefighters on the ground by laying a line of retardant along the sides of a wildfire. The retardant temporarily cools the fire and slows it down, giving firefighters time to construct a fireline to contain the fire.

  • The closest Air Attack Base is operated by CALFIRE and is located in Columbia CA.



Fire Prevention Technicians

Fire Prevention Fire Prevention Technicians detect and suppress fires while patrolling an assigned unit, often interfacing with Forest users to provide education and information on fire prevention. They provide technical expertise on fire protection and prevention issues, including information and guidance on special use permits, service contracts and procedures involved in wildland fire prevention. In Technicians also engage children and young people at school events, fairs and special community activities. 

  • The Stanislaus National Forest currently has13 prevention personnel on the Forest.