The Warm Springs has been a fully certified Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC) since March 1988. It is sponsored by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), managed by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and hosted at the Warm Springs Reservation in Warm Springs, Oregon. It is the second oldest IHC supported by the BIA.
History of the Crew
The Warm Springs Hotshots are the second oldest IHC crew in Indian Country. Started in 1984, the crew came into form first as a Type 2 forestry crew as a means for the Forestry Program to leverage employment opportunities on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.
Initially funded through contracts with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and neighboring agencies, the Warm Springs Fire Management staff saw potential and went forward with developing a formal Type 2 hand crew. By working on miscellaneous contract work, the crew accomplished training goals and recognition as a competitive Type 1 crew.
After two successful fire seasons, and with the support of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the organization elected to pursue Type 1 IHC status. From 1986 to 1987, the Warm Springs Forest Crew operated as a Type 1 training crew In March of 1988, the BIA recognized the Warm Springs Agency Forest Crew as a national Type 1 IHC.
The Warm Springs Hotshots have been predominantly members of the Confederated Tribes, but also consist of individuals who have married into the Tribe, other Tribally-affiliated Native Americans and non-Native Americans.
Once fire season is complete for the year, the crew works throughout the community of Warm Springs on projects such as tree thinning, hazardous fuels reduction, prescribed fire and other community events such as cutting firewood and distributing it to senior citizens. The IHC also assists the community by delivering holiday food baskets and collaborating with local community schools.
Superintendents Past and Present
- 2022-Present: Racin Johnson
- 2019-2021: Renso Rodriguez
- 2009-2018: Gary Sampson Jr.
- 2004-2008: Tony Holliday Sr
- 1988-2003: Luther Clements
- 1984-1987: Michael Gomez