The Zuni became a fully certified Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC) in December 2003. It is sponsored and managed by the BIA Zuni Agency in Zuni, NM.

History of the Crew

Zuni IHC logo

The Zuni Pueblo Knife Wing is a symbol of the Zuni Warrior Society and is a protector of the land and its inhabitants. It represents courage, honor, wisdom and strength. The spirit of this symbol is carried into battle or other life-threatening situations. The Knife Wing is also a guardian angel watching over each and every one of us.

Historically, the Knife Wing symbol was blessed and placed on warriors' shields to protect the warriors. This ancient tradition continues to this day with the Zuni IHC. The symbol is part of the crew uniform and is placed on crew vehicles.

The BIA Zuni Agency established the Zuni Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC) Program in September 2001. The Crew is based out of west-central New Mexico on the Zuni Indian Reservation, Zuni, NM. Zuni is one of 19 pueblos in the state. The Reservation is estimated at 463,270 acres, which includes 242,766 acres of forest.

To gain the crew leadership needed for an elite hand crew, supervisory candidates including Paley Coonsis, Sr., Troy Cachini and Todd Etsate detailed to the Mescalero Hotshots in Mescalero, New Mexico and the Redmond Hotshot Crew in Redmond, Oregon to gain knowledge and skills in supervising a hotshot crew.

The crew went through a training period from September 2001 to December 2003. The IHC’s very first assignment was led by Carl Crawford to the devastated World Trade Center in 2001. Mr. Crawford was the Assistant Superintendent of the Chief Mountain Hotshot Crew for numerous years prior to accepting the Zuni IHC Superintendent position.

In December 2003, the Zuni IHC gained full qualification as a National Incident Hotshot Crew and has served as a national resource ever since.

Zuni IHC crew photo
2023 Zuni Interagency Hotshot Crew

Superintendents Past and Present

  • 2018 – Present: Rickey Booqua Jr.
  • 2014 – 2018 Todd Etsate
  • 2010 – 2014 Myron Sheche
  • 2006 – 2014 Troy J. Cachini
  • 2004 – 2005 Tony Parks
  • 2001 – 2003 Carl Crawford

Assistant Superintendents Past and Present

  • 2022 – Present: Golden Moore
  • 2018 – 2022 Geraldine Antonio
  • 2016 – 2018 Rickey Booqua Jr.
  • 2015 – 2016 Chad F. Nastacio
  • 2011 – 2014 Todd Etsate
  • 2007 – 2010 Myron Sheche
  • 2006 – 2007 Wadell Kenseah
  • 2003 – 2006 Troy Cachini
  • 2001 – 2003 Paley Coonsis Jr.

Additional Information

Contact Us

Zuni IHC
BIA Zuni Agency, P.O. Box 369 301, N Bldg 54
Zuni, NM 87327