USDA Forest Service

Northern California Service Center


Redding IHC
6101 Airport Road
Redding, CA 96002

Redding IHC





Redding Hotshots

Redding Hotshots Searchable Database

The Redding Interagency Hotshot Crew was the first hotshot crew in the nation to offer a concentrated fire management training detail opportunity.  By detailing potential fire management personnel to a crew of this nature at an early stage in their careers, they were able to gain a mass of experience and training that might take years to receive at their home unit.

The program was initially developed in 1967, and functioned as one of the Pacific Southwest Region's three Interregional Suppression Crews along with the Del Rosa IR Crew, San Bernardino NF, and the El Cariso IR Crew, Cleveland NF.  It remained an interregional crew until 1980, when at that time the interregional concept was abolished nationwide and all category one crews were reclassified as "Interagency Hotshot Crews" (IHC).  The crew's training and career development concept was much the same in 1967 as it is today, but through the years it was modified to its current concept and mission.

Throughout the four-year period from 1967-1971, the crew functioned as a detail training opportunity.  The crew organization consisted of one permanent full-time GS 462-7 and 19 detailers, two being recruited primarily to function in the hotshot captain positions.

The primary target audiences at that time were Foresters in need of crew and large fire experience.  The formalized training curriculum during that period offered the detailer a variety of fire suppression and fire management subjects geared towards preparing the individual at the Sector Boss level.

By 1971, the pool of available Foresters fell short of the desired level to justify the continuance of the program under its original concept.  In 1972, the crew converted to the conventional hotshot crew concept.  From 1972 to 1973, seasonal crewmembers were hired.  Training was accomplished only to the extent to meet agency requirements for Category 1 Hotshot Crews.  The crew performed conventional project work on the Shasta Trinity N.F. during the periods when not assigned fire duties. 

Following the 1973 fire season, the detail concept was re-implemented in 1974.  The original emphasis on Foresters as the primary target audience was relaxed and the Forestry Technician began to fill a large majority of the 17 allocated positions.  During this new era the overhead structure consisted of a GS-462-7 Superintendent and 2 GS-462-6 Captains.  Classroom and field training continued to emphasize a fire suppression curriculum but also included supervision subjects as well.  

During the winter of 1977, the Superintendent and one Captain position were reclassified as "Fire and Training Specialists".  The reclassification increased the grade structure of the crew superintendent to a GS-462-9, and one Captain to a GS-462-7.  The second Captain remained a GS-462-6.

Throughout the period from 1981 through 1986, foresters filled a small percentage of the crew positions.  Local North Zone Fire Management Officers expressed the need to re-emphasize the participation of foresters who were interested in a career in fire management and who had demonstrated a potential to become future large fire managers.

Early in 1985, a steering committee was formed to assist the Redding Hotshot unit with modifying the program to include training in Timber Sale Planning, Prescribed Fire Management and Fire Prevention.  In 1991, the curriculum was updated again to better meet the needs of fire managers and the incoming crewmembers.  The adjustment in the academic curriculum deleted the training in Fire Prevention and Principles of Prescribed Fire Management.  In their place Fuels Management and Ecosystem Planning, S-230 Crew Boss, S-234 Firing Boss and S-260 Fire Business Management were added. 

In 1992, resulting from budget restrictions, the Redding crew was abolished.  The crew returned in 1993, but without the training function.  As in 1972-73, the crew functioned as a conventional hotshot crew for the Shasta Trinity National Forest, hiring a mix of career-conditional and temporary employees.  In 1994, at the request of fire management in the region, the training program was reestablished, concentrating on Forestry Technicians in need of large crew and large fire experience.

In 1995, the overhead structure changed again to consists of one GS-462-9 Superintendent with two GS-462-7 Captains.  In 1997, a national reclassification changed the grade structure of the crew Captains to GS-462-8. After the re-classification the overhead structure consisted of one GS-462-9 Superintendent, two GS-462-8 Captains, and two GS-462-6 Squad Leaders. 

In 2003, the Region 5 (R5) Board of Directors (BOD) approved changing the Redding IHC training focus from Fire Program Management to Small-Unit Leadership Development.  The program was developed by Robert Holt (former Redding IHC Superintendent), Patrick Lookabaugh (former Redding IHC Captain), Greg Power (former R5 Regional Training Officer), and Jim Cook (National Training Projects Coordinator), and is based on successful military, corporate, and fire service leadership development models.

As with all Interagency Hotshot Crews, the Redding IHC has made many contributions and sacrifices to the fire management effort but the greatest sacrifice was in 1970 when two crewmembers, Ronald Scott and William Wales, were killed while the crew was assigned to the Coyote Fire on the Angeles National Forest in Region Five. Ron and Bill, along with the pilot and personnel from a Type II Crew, were all killed attempting a landing on a ridge top helispot. For some unknown reason the helicopter crashed. There were no witnesses to the incident. We will never forget the ultimate sacrifice they all made that day.

The Redding IHC Leadership Team is fully committed to the safety, health, and well being of all crewmembers. Ensuring personnel safety, health, and compliance with safe firefighting practices is our primary responsibility and an integral part of the success of the crew mission.

Crew Superintendents:

Charlie “No Slack” Caldwell – 1967 to 1986
Craig “Lanky” Lechleiter – 1986 to 2002
Robert Holt – 2002 to 2010

Daniel Mallia - 2010 to Present


Redding Crewman Database:

Search by year