USDA Forest Service

Plumas National Forest, Mt. Hough Ranger District


Plumas Hotshots
 39696 Highway 70
 Quincy, California  95971

Plumas hotshots digging fireline

plumas IHC

Plumas IHC

Plumas IHC

Plumas Hotshots

Plumas Interagency Hotshot Crew

Plumas National Forest, Region 5


The Plumas National Forest staffed its first nationally recognized Hotshot Crew in July of 1974 and for two seasons would have it split into two separate 10-person modules; one each on the Greenville and the Quincy Ranger Districts. These modules came together, upon receipt of a resource request, to form the Plumas Interagency Hotshot Crew.

For most of the first season Charlie Earhart would act as Superintendent and supervise the Greenville half of the crew with Jim Hogg supervising the Quincy module. It wasn’t until nearly the end of that first season that Dan Swearingen would officially be hired to fill the Superintendent position. He would remain as such through the end of 1975 with Jim Hogg as his Foreman.

In ‘76 Hogg took over for Swearingen and brought the entire crew together at the Quincy Work Center location (now the Mt. Hough Ranger District Office), where they are stationed to this day. Jim would stay with the crew from ‘76 until ‘78 with J.D. Killick as his assistant throughout that time period. In late August of 1978 the crew, along with several other Hotshot Crews throughout the Region, lost their national funding. Plumas was able to remain together to finish out the season, operating out of local dollars, but many crews were not so lucky.

The budget crisis that began the previous season carried over through the next fiscal year and in 1979 the crew was left unfunded and unstaffed. All equipment remained on the shelf and Hogg moved on to other positions on the forest and wouldn’t return to the Hotshot organization. He is still active in the fire world today and works as a Logistics Section Chief within a California Type 1 Incident Management Team(IMT). Killick would leave for Region 3 and would eventually retire from a Southwest Hotshot Crew.

With the return of funding in 1980, Tom Hatcher became Superintendent with Dave Ross as his Foremen. Later that same year a second Foreman position was created and Larry Vogan would be hired to fill it.  Tom would stay in the position through 1987 and in March of 1988 promote into a Fuels ADFMO position, leaving the crew under Dave Ross, who acted as Superintendent until July of that year.  Tom retired in 2006 after working his way up to Assistant Director of Fire and Aviation for Region 5 in Northern California.

In July of 1988 Kent Swartzlander was named Superintendent behind Hatcher with Dave Ross remaining as Foreman. Larry Vogan had moved on to the Lassen NF and his position would remain vacant until 1989 when Jon Lee was hired to fill it. Kent would hold the Superintendent position for 12 seasons, from 1988 until 1999, during which time the organization was expanded to include two permanent Squad Leaders and ,eventually, a single permanent Senior Firefighter. In ‘99 Swartzlander left for the district Fuels AFMO position and retired in 2010 as Forest FMO of the Six Rivers NF and Incident Commander of a Type 2 IMT.

In 2000 Jack Sevelson came back to the crew, to replace Kent as Superintendent, with Jon Lee and Dave Ross staying in what were now being referred to as the “Captain” positions. Jack started on the crew in 1980 and intends to stay on as Supt. until they pry his tool from his cold dead fingers.

In the thirteen seasons since he became Supt.13 Jack has overseen many changes within the Plumas Hotshots organization; from the expansion of its permanent workforce to include three more Senior Firefighters, to a seemingly endless shuffle of folks to keep all those permanent positions filled.

In 2001, Jon Lee moved to Cedar City, UT as Superintendent of the new Dixie Hotshots, with Pete Duncan becoming Captain 13A in his place. Pete then moved on in 2004 and is currently holding the Chief 2 position on the Plumas NF. Pete was replaced from within the crew by Ryan Bauer who himself moved on to a district Fuels position in 2008 and was replaced by long time crewmember Mike Sherman. Mike is still 13Alpha and in 2012 was entering his 15th season as a Plumas Hotshot.

Dave Ross retired from the Capt. 13B slot in 2003 after 22 years as a Plumas Hotshot. Freddy Brewster returned to the crew to replace Dave and with 15 years on the crew, would move on to become Supt. 9 of the Lassen IHC. Joel Schilling would promote from Fred’s Squad Leader to Capt.13B in the spring of 2009 and remains there today.


The current organization of the Plumas Hotshots is:

1 – GS-9, PFT, Superintendent – Jack Sevelson

2 – GS-8, PFT, Captains – Mike Sherman, Joel Schilling

2 – GS-6/7, PFT, Squad Leaders – Joe McGinn, Patrick Callahan

4 – GS-5, PFT, Senior Firefighters – Luke Pascucci, Steve Nicholson, Chris Flores

11 –Crewmembers


Superintendents -

Charlie Earhart (acting) 1974; Dan Swearingen 1974-1975; Jim Hogg 1976-1978; Tom Hatcher 1980-1987; Kent Swartzlander 1988-1999; Jack Sevelson 2000 to present


Foremen/Captains -

Jim Hogg 1974-1976; J.D. Killick 1976-1978; Dave Ross 1980-2003; Larry Vogan 1980-1986; Jon Lee 1989-2000; Pete Duncan 2001-2004; Ryan Bauer 2005-2007; Fred Brewster 2003-2009; Mike Sherman 2008 to present; Joel Schilling – 2009 to present