New Hotshot crew on Tahoe forest |

New Hotshot crew on Tahoe forest

Sun staff reports

The Tahoe National Forest now has two Hotshot firefighting crews. The American River Hotshot crew, which will be stationed at Foresthill on the American River Ranger District, completed its certification exams last week, said Jeanne Pincha-Tulley, fire and aviation chief for the Tahoe National Forest.

The American River Hotshots join the Tahoe Hotshots stationed near Camptonville as the second, 20-person hand crew in the Tahoe National Forest. In 2002, the U.S.

Forest Service identified a need for additional hotshot crews nation-wide to fight fires in the rugged, forested terrain throughout the national forests. With funding support from Congress, new crews have been established to supplement the Forest Service fire fighting forces. Currently there are 30 hotshot crews in California national forests.

“Hotshot crews are expected to be self-sufficient and able to work in very difficult situations. They are the elite of the hand crews throughout the nation and are held to the highest professional standard of conduct,” Pincha-Tulley said.

The crew is expected to be an important asset to the firefighting capacity on the Tahoe National Forest, said Marc Walburn, American River District Fire Management Officer.

“Having a hotshot crew locally will provide a boost in our initial attack and extended attack capabilities both in the national forest and elsewhere in Placer County.”