Keeping Up With the Boys

  • June 10, 2019
  • Posted by Guest Blogger

Working for Montana Conservation Corps usually means you get to meet a lot of new and cool people, no matter what crew you’re with. On this particular hitch, the Women’s Fire Crew got paired up with the Devil’s Canyon Hand Crew, which is a fire crew made up of primarily veterans that can be a stepping stone to future employment in fire for BLM. These guys are tough and have a lot of history for living hard lifestyles in the military. However, for a lot of these guys this crew that they’re on now is harder physically than a lot of the things that they had to do in the military.

Let me tell you why! For fire you have to do a lot of physical training, hiking, and carrying heavy loads. We started this week by hiking out to the work site with the Devil’s Canyon Hand Crew. This hike alone showed me how fast these men move up the mountains to start doing some hard work for the day. We hiked at a pace that seemed like running all the way there with chainsaws, tools and fuel. Then we got right to falling trees as soon as we reached the area, without a minute to pause.

Thinking the first day was tough with these men, the second day of working with them we did a hike for physical training at the beginning of the day. We hiked STEEP ridges that had a lot of us gasping for air, as well as many of the guys on the Devil’s Canyon Hand Crew. It may have been a struggle at times, but our women’s crew did a good job keeping up with everything these men were putting in.

This entire experience gave us a lot of time to learn from people who have experience in fire and hard work. We also got more in shape and more expectations for what life as a Wildland Firefighter would be like. We shared a camp, work site, workouts, work, and hikes with these guys for a few days. Then we really got to see what it might be like for us someday when the Devil’s Canyon crew got called on a fire during the middle of a work day! We all stopped what we were doing to go pack up camp and get everything together so these men could go off to their first fire roll of the season! It made us all excited for the time we might get the call for our first fire assignment!!!!!!!!!!


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