The Alta Hotshots are a State of Utah hosted Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC) based out of the Lone Peak Conservation Center in Draper, Utah. The Crew is typically organized from the end of April to the end of October. The first two weeks of every season are dedicated to refresher and proficiency training. During the 80 – 100 hour required training the crew will physically and mentally train together in the classroom and in the field to build a cohesive team collectively familiar with efficient tactics.
Upon completion of required training the crew is placed available through the Great Basin Coordination Center. The GBCC manages a rotation of 12 Hotshot Crews for out of region assignments and dispatches closest resource to incidents within the Great Basin.
The primary reason for assembling the crew is wildfire suppression. The crew is initially staffed with 23 firefighters including; One Superintendent, one Foreman and three squads, each in Dodge 5500 7 passenger buggies. There are 8 career positions on the crew and 15 seasonal crewmembers hired annually. Traditionally 2 – 4 new crewmember positions are filled yearly, due to attrition, through an application process carried out between November 1st and February 1st.
When not assigned to an incident, the Alta Hotshots complete forestry related projects around the State of Utah. Projects include; fuel breaks, prescribed fire, defensible space, forest health and invasive species work. Due to the travel times to some project sites, camping is regularly used to complete target projects and save taxpayer money. This allows for long days and short project weeks when weather allows.
The Alta Hotshots were officially established on June 13th, 2014. This followed a 4 year trainee period consisting of peer evaluations, an imbedded review and a certification review. The Alta Hotshots originated as the UFRA T2 crew established in 2003 with an agreement between Utah Valley University (UVU) and Utah State DNR. The crew was created to provide an engaged learning platform for students receiving wildland suppression courses through the schools emergency services department. In 2010 it was decided to begin the process of building the crew into an IHC.
In 2012 the crew voted in the name change to Alta. Alta means “to the summit” in Latin. This articulates the direction crewmembers are expected to take the crew reputation. The wolverine found on the badge symbolizes the toughness crewmembers expect of each other.
With the change in crew status, the Alta Hotshots now provide an engaged learning platform for career minded firefighters both from the original UVU student workforce and qualified applicants from other wildland fire programs. Ultimately, the Alta Hotshots will hire the most qualified applicants in order to staff a highly reliable Interagency Hotshot Crew.
- Wade Snyder 2010 – Current
- Lyle Jennings 2009 (UFRA) Detail
- Wade Snyder 2007 – 2008 (UFRA)
- Riley Pilgrim – 2006 (UFRA)
- Jonah Gladney – 2005 (UFRA)
- Donny Bennett – 2004 (UFRA)
- Shaylor Sorenson – 2003 (UFRA)