When Josh Acosta was just 19, he trekked up a steep burning hill amidst a raging wildfire and thought to himself, “What am I doing?” Acosta is a Hotshot, an elite group of firefighters that travel the nation six to eight months out of the year, working 16-hour days while fighting on the frontlines of a fire’s edge.
In the latest episode of Warriors Of The West, we’re introduced to Acosta and the Hotshots, a group which chapter leader John Keese describes as being a “professional hiker, extreme camper, a little bit of professional athlete, and part billy goat.” The Hotshots are the first responders to wildland fires. They have the vitally important and challenging job of digging a line and clearing pine needles and leaves to diminish a fire’s fuel source.
The physical demands of the job require that the Hotshots be in top shape. To achieve that, they hike, run, and workout on a daily basis to keep their major means of transportation — their legs — strong enough to do the job and keep them ahead of ever-shifting winds. Equipped with their own special tools, each Hotshot plays a different but necessary role in clearing brush in an effort to contain forest fires and keep catastrophes at bay.
To learn more about the Hotshots and their exciting yet dangerous work, watch the latest installment of our Warriors Of The West series. And check out the series page for additional episodes.
Coors Banquet is in its sixth year of supporting the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, donating over $1.5 million dollars to the foundation. Click the donate button on this page if you’d like to help protect our west by supporting the WFF.