Lyle St. Goddard, 56, believes he’s one of the oldest hotshot firefighters in the country. Lyle St. Goddard, 56, is running along a dirt trail on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. "It takes me about a lap to loosen up," he says. Being a hotshot is a young man’s game and St. Goddard believes he’s one of the oldest hotshot crew members in the country. "I still can do it," he says. "I just got to keep in shape. I’ll be okay." St. Goddard supervises the Chief Mountain Hotshots, one of the big employers of young men and women on the reservation. They only hire Natives and they can promise good pay and the chance to travel all over the country. Hotshots are like the special forces of fighting fire – there are only around 100 teams in the country – and Chief Mountain is one of seven Native American hotshot crews. Summer after summer, St. Goddard’s team will spend weeks in smoke and heat, hiking up mountains, digging fire-lines and cutting down trees. They have to keep in shape and St. Goddard runs his crew with the discipline of a military unit. "Like Marines," he says. Hotshot crews […]


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