The Modoc Interagency Hotshot Crew came into existence after the conclusion of the 2000 fire season. At that time, it was decided by wildland fire managers and the United States Congress to fund national suppression efforts at the “Most Efficient Level” or MEL.
In 2001 the Modoc Interagency Hotshot Crew started operations on the Modoc National Forest, working out of the old Canby Ranger Station. The old Canby Ranger District has now been absorbed into the Devils Garden Ranger District. The crew has taken over the entire compound with adequate space for office facilities, barracks, warehouse, workshop, storage, and a physical fitness workout room.
The crew works directly for the forest fire staff. Direct supervision comes from Robert “Buck” Silva, suppression division and second level supervision comes from Elizabeth Cavasso, forest fire management officer.
The original crew structure consisted of John Ryan, Superintendent, Bob Beebe and Joe Johnston, Foreman. The crew was outfitted with the minimum compliment of tools, vehicles and equipment. The crew was assigned as a Type I (T) crew for the season, pending crew certification.
In 2002, Greg Keller was brought in as Superintendent to run the crew. The crew Foreman continued with Bob Beebe and Joe Johnston. The crew had a productive fire season and accomplished filling out the remaining task books required for certification. The one remaining item to be covered was individual training experience. The crew members were afforded priority status for training slots for the winter training session held at the Northern California Service Center in Redding, Ca.
All training and task book qualifications were complete and a certification review was requested for May of 2003. The crew certification took place on May 28 and 29. The certification team was headed up by Safety First Officer, Joe Millar and consisted of Mike Beckett, Superintendent Eldorado Hotshots, and Dave Bostic, Division Chief Modoc N.F.
The crew was recognized as the Modoc Interagency Hotshot Crew on May 29th 2003.
The crew logo, flying goose, is derived from the area's world famous water fowl hunting and nesting habitat.
The crew “phrase”, Pervado Tolerantia nos Benfacta was derived from the south polar explorer, Sir Ernest Shackelton. His family coat of arms, declared “Through Endurance we Conquer”. For our purposes, we changed it to “Through Endurance we Succeed or Benefit”. The small world part of this business became apparent with this crew logo. While working on the Aspen Fire on the Coronado N.F. in Arizona, a safety officer asked what the phrase meant. After explaining the Sir Ernest Shackelton part, he stated that he had in fact heard of Shackelton, and that his son was dating Shackelton’s great granddaughter.
The crew consists of 3 full time positions, Superintendent and two Foreman. Two GS-6, 18-8 squad leaders, two GS-5, 13-13 lead firefighters and two apprentice positions