The SCA will be expanding its wildland fire management work in 2023. Last year, we piloted our first women’s firefighting teams with the National Park Service in Alaska. Known as “hotshot crews,” these teams are highly skilled, mobile units that excel in all phases of wildland fire management.
The SCA has renewed its Alaska Female Fire Corps with the Park Service and will launch a new Wildfire Academy with the U.S. Forest Service. All participants will earn their firefighting “Red Cards” and be eligible for preferred status under the Public Lands Corps Hiring Authority. At the same time, our Integrated Fire and Recreation Intern initiative is entering its sixth year. Now more than a dozen SCA teams will proactively combat the most significant threats to life, property and habitats posed by global warming.
Although this field has traditionally been male-dominated, the SCA and the National Park Service have joined forces to increase equity and inclusion in the hotshot occupation. Together we will train more professionals for this line of work as climate change increases both the frequency and intensity of destructive wildfires.
“I loved the work I was doing,” said Olivia Lawrence, who is a senior at Wittenberg University in Ohio. “It gave me an idea of a future career I hadn’t known existed. And being on an all-female crew was an empowering experience.”