On February 6, 2020 the Lakeview Interagency Hotshots posted on Instagram saying that they are “ready for RX [prescribed fire] support in the Southeast.” Currently they have prescribed fire modules deployed in the southeast, usually with eight to 10 firefighters each.
The post included the hashtag #ignis2 which refers to the second generation aerial ignition module Drone Amplified is manufacturing which enables drones to conduct aerial ignition on prescribed fires or wildfires. The crew included in their post the next two photos showing a drone aerial ignition system and a drone, both disassembled and packed into cases.
This year the Lakeview Hotshots have four qualified drone pilots. In 2018 their four pilots together completed over 100 missions.
Before the Lakeview IHC acquired Hotshot status in 2018 they were the Lakeview Crew 7 formed by the Bureau of Land Management. The crew was initially created in 2000 and reorganized in 2011 to help military veterans transition to productive civilian careers. Today it is comprised almost entirely of U.S. military veterans. The crew has been funded under the BLM Veterans Crew Program since 2012.
I ran across this photo of a Soft Track Skidgeon, and since it is an interesting machine, I wanted to post it. It was on Flickr along with dozens of other photos from the Bureau of Land Management. That album also had pictures of BLM Crew 7 from Lakeview, comprised almost entirely of veterans, training soldiers from the Washington Army National Guard in 2014. This year the crew earned Interagency Hotshot Crew status.
In the video below, the National Guardsmen practice fire shelter deployment. It shows the Guardsmen running and then getting into the shelters. Video by Kevin Abel/BLM.