HISTORY HAS PROVEN that a free and safe nation comes at a high price. The United States may know this better than any sovereign power in modern civilization. Whether abroad or stateside, when America needs her best, her call is quickly answered by those who have selected a remarkable path. This path is one of service and altruism for the greater good of their country. U.S. troops and first responders, such as wildland firefighters, have proven to be the keeper of their fellow citizens’ way of life — even if it means sacrificing everything.
Having achieved certification last Veterans Day, the Lakeview Veterans Hotshots are the only Interagency Hotshot Crew in the country that prioritizes enlisting and developing former military personnel. From front lines of battlefields in war-stricken corners of the world to the most rugged backcountry in North America, the individuals on the Lakeview Hotshots are accustomed to putting their lives on the line to ensure safety for other American citizens. Based in Klamath Falls, Oregon, the Lakeview crew employs 15 permanent wildland firefighters, adding another 10 seasonal members during the months wildfires are most prevalent.
While Lakeview is officially going into their rookie fire season as a certified hotshot crew (they are the newest of the 112 hotshot crews in the country), they lack anything but experience. Some crew members have two, even three, decades worth of hotshot crew experience. Lakeview’s average age is considerably higher than their peers because of their prior commitment to the military. Regardless of their previous military experience, be it anything from Army Green Beret to Marine Scout Sniper, together the Lakeview Hotshots continue to serve their country selflessly as a faction of the Bureau of Land Management.