British Columbia may have had a record number of wildfires this summer, but the ongoing situation in California is much worse. More homes at risk, more lives in danger, stronger winds, faster rates of spread. Those factors require an excellent forest firefighting program. Though we may have a different situation – most of British Columbia’s wildfires don’t put communities and people at risk – we can still learn from the American program. I fought fire in the United States twice during my nine years fighting fire for the Ministry of Forests in British Columbia and both times were in Idaho. In British Columbia, I was part of a 20-person firefighting crew known as a “unit crew” – a configuration modelled after the American “hotshot” crews. I’ll never forget the first time I saw a hotshot crew in action.