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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 406

Hotshots fire crew opens their new home

When the Diamond Mountain Hotshots fire crew held a grand opening of  their new headquarters in Susanville last week, they did it with hotshot flair:  the ribbon was cut with a chainsaw. (text continues below)

Sawdust flies as man in hardhat cuts wood "red ribbon" with chainsaw
Diamond Mountain Hotshots member Joe Johnson guides a chainsaw through the plywood "ribbon."

A group of about 50 officials from local, state and federal agencies joined the BLM and the hotshots for the ribbon cutting and facilities tours on Monday, October 26.  Speakers at the ceremony, including BLM Deputy State Director Karen Barnette, praised the crew for its outstanding safety and performance records.

The new facility includes an engine barn for the hotshots' crew carriers, equipment storage and work areas, space for physical training and office space.

The Diamond Mountain hotshots, an interagency crew housed by BLM, has been using temporary quarters since its formation in 1993.

Hotshots are highly skilled federal fire fighters (the Forest Service and Park Service also field hotshots) who are assigned to the most demanding fireline assignments.   Members must meet and maintain extremely high levels of physical fitness and dedicate themselves to professionalism and teamwork in their assignments.  They can be dispatched to all types of incidents, from wildfires to hurricane recovery, across the nation.

Man cuts wood "red ribbon" as eight other people look on and help hold the ribbon
Diamond Mountain Hotshots member Joe Johnson guides a chainsaw through the 15-foot plywood "ribbon" as gathered BLM partners look on.  From left are Brad Lutts, unit chief for the CAL FIRE Lassen-Modoc-Plumas Unit; Stu Ratner, chief of the Susanville Fire Department; Tim Holabird, northern counties representative for Congressman Tom McClintock; Jim Chapman, Lassen County Board of Supervisors;  Kurt Bonham, mayor of Susanville; Andy Warren, president, Lassen County Chamber of Commerce; Nancy Haug, BLM northern California district manager; and Dorene Beckman, Lassen County Fire Safe Council.

- Jeff Fontana, 10/09

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 406

Last updated: 10-28-2009