BLM Logo
Wind River/Bighorn Basin District Office
Release Date: 08/25/09
Contacts: Sarah Beckwith 307-347-5207    

Wind River/Bighorn Basin District Hosts Mississippi Hotshot Crew

Twenty new faces you may have seen in the Bighorn Basin this summer belong to a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hotshot crew, here for the fire season all the way from Jackson, Miss. Worland will serve as home away from home for the hotshots while they fight fires throughout the west and assist BLM with hazardous fuels reduction projects.

Jackson Hotshots and Wind River/Bighorn Basin fire crew.
Click on the image of the Jackson Hotshots & the WRBB fire crew to download a high-res version.
Earlier in the summer, the Jackson Hotshots worked on multiple fuels projects including aspen enhancement in the Brokenbacks, juniper thinning in Enos Creek, and Wildland Urban Interface fuel break improvement in Sand Draw near Ten Sleep.

Firefighting is their top priority, however, and the hotshots have already fought fires in Wyo., Colo., Idaho and Utah. "It's more logistically efficient and less expensive for the hotshot crew to be stationed somewhere in the west during fire season rather than travel back and forth between Jackson, Miss. and the big western fires," said Fire Management Officer Chuck Russell. "We have begun a partnership with the Eastern States BLM and part of this partnership includes hosting the Jackson Hotshots through the summer months here in the Wind River/Bighorn Basin District."

A hotshot crew is a 20-person organized crew used primarily for wildfire suppression, fuels reduction, and other fire management duties. They perform the same duties as hand crews, however, they are very specialized and are generally placed in the most rugged terrain, in the most active and difficult areas of wildfires. Hotshot crews are used mostly on large fires, but can also be used for initial attack on smaller fires.

Jackson, Miss., is home to the only BLM hotshot crew east of the Mississippi River. Since being formed in 1997, the Jackson Hotshots have fought disastrous wildfires throughout the nation. In addition, they have been called upon to assist with national emergencies including Ground Zero after 9/11 and search and recovery operations from the Space Shuttle Columbia. The Hotshots were also available for recovery efforts following several devastating hurricanes in the southeast over the past several years, including Katrina and Rita.

"The Jackson Hotshots are a well-trained, motivated crew that has helped us accomplish a great deal this summer," Russell said. "They contribute a lot to our fire management program and I'm sure we will build on this partnership for years to come. If you see them in your community, please welcome them and help them feel at home away from home.”

For more information about the project, please contact Chuck Russell at 307-347-5100.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Wind River/Bighorn Basin District Office   101 South 23rd      Worland, WY 82401-0119  

Last updated: 08-25-2009