Hotshot Captain | Interviewed May, 2014 | California
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Adam Hernandez, a Hotshot Captain, talks about how he progressed through his career and the decisions that he's made to balance family life with being a wildland firefighter. He expresses the importance of having a good support structure at home. Interviewed: 5/2014
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How does Adam view the role of fire in the environment?
“When I first started my career, getting into it and hearing all the bad stuff that’s associated with fires, you know, I thought it was a bad thing. Having a lot more experience in actually seeing a lot of the effects that occur from fire, and then additionally having some background in fuels and working in fuels management, I’ve learned quite a bit about fire in the ecosystem and what its role is…There is certain things called fire return intervals where, in areas, they have figured out that before we were here, fire would pass through it every seven years (on average). It would keep those heavy fuel loadings down and would burn all those heavy logs out, so all you’d have is just the ground fuel; so if you do get a fire that goes through there, it’s real low intensity. So my view has shifted quite a bit from “fire is bad,” to if there’s opportunities to use it in certain areas, then it’s really beneficial for the environment.”