U.S. Army Soldiers from the 2-3 Infantry Battalion, 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, use their tools and boots to level native tribal land as part of recovery operations while deployed in support of the Department of Defense wildland firefighting response operations on the Dixie Fire in Plumas National Forest, California, Sept. 19, 2021. U.S. Army North, U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command remains committed to providing flexible DoD support to the National Interagency Fire Center to respond quickly and effectively to assist our local, state, and federal partners in protecting people, property, and public lands.
U.S. Army Soldiers from the 2-3 Infantry Battalion, 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, use their tools and boots to level native tribal land as part of recovery operations while deployed in support of the Department of Defense wildland firefighting response operations on the Dixie Fire in Plumas National Forest, California, Sept. 19, 2021. U.S. Army North, U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command remains committed to providing flexible DoD support to the National Interagency Fire Center to respond quickly and effectively to assist our local, state, and federal partners in protecting people, property, and public lands. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Yesenia Barajas) VIEW ORIGINAL

Plumas National Forest, California – More than 200 U.S. Army Soldiers from the 23rd Brigade Engineer Battalion and 2-3 Infantry Battalion from the 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington formed Task Force Spearhead in support of the National Interagency Fire Center wildland fire response efforts on the Dixie Fire and deployed to Quincy, California, August 31, 2021.

“When the Soldiers arrived on-ground, the fire was at 40 percent containment and it is currently at 94 percent contained,” said Frank Guzman, military liaison for the NIFC.

Now that the fire is near fully contained, the Task Force Spearhead Soldier’s work has now shifted to repair and restore numerous historically significant tribal lands and archeological sites that contain artifacts here in the Plumas National Forest.

U.S. Army 1st. Lt. Eugene Rodgers, left, 2-3 Infantry Battalion, 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and crew boss Rubel Aguilar, right, a National Interagency Fire Center representative, right, work together and conduct rehabilitation operations in support of the Department of Defense wildland firefighting response operations on the Dixie Fire in Plumas National Forest, California, Sept. 19, 2021. U.S. Army North, U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command remains committed to providing flexible DoD support to the National Interagency Fire Center to respond quickly and effectively to assist our local, state, and federal partners in protecting people, property, and public lands.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army 1st. Lt. Eugene Rodgers, left, 2-3 Infantry Battalion, 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and crew boss Rubel Aguilar, right, a National Interagency Fire Center representative, right, work together and conduct rehabilitation operations in support of the Department of Defense wildland firefighting response operations on the Dixie Fire in Plumas National Forest, California, Sept. 19, 2021. U.S. Army North, U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command remains committed to providing flexible DoD support to the National Interagency Fire Center to respond quickly and effectively to assist our local, state, and federal partners in protecting people, property, and public lands. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Yesenia Barajas) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Lionel Duerra, from the 2-3 Infantry Battalion, 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, uses a pulaski to sift through rocks and smooth out a dozer pathway while deployed in support of the Department of Defense wildland firefighting response operations on the Dixie Fire in Plumas National Forest, California, Sept. 19, 2021. U.S. Army North, U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command remains committed to providing flexible DoD support to the National Interagency Fire Center to respond quickly and effectively to assist our local, state, and federal partners in protecting people, property, and public lands.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Lionel Duerra, from the 2-3 Infantry Battalion, 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, uses a pulaski to sift through rocks and smooth out a dozer pathway while deployed in support of the Department of Defense wildland firefighting response operations on the Dixie Fire in Plumas National Forest, California, Sept. 19, 2021. U.S. Army North, U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command remains committed to providing flexible DoD support to the National Interagency Fire Center to respond quickly and effectively to assist our local, state, and federal partners in protecting people, property, and public lands. (Photo Credit: Spc. Ashleigh Maxwell) VIEW ORIGINAL

Soldiers use their Pulaskis and McLeods to level dozer berms and to cover up dozer line to prevent further damage by heavy machinery.

“I know it’s not the most fun, but if you look up and see what you’ve done behind you, it’s amazing,” said Hanna Robinson, Lead Resource Advisor for California Interagency Team 1.

Trina Cunningham, a tribal elder, also addressed the teams as their work shifted from suppression to rehab operations.

“All this land has immense significance to tribes,” said Cunningham. "That’s our connection to being whole again."

Cunningham’s statement resonated with the TF Spearhead Soldiers, specifically Pfc. Isaiah Spire, a Clarinda, Iowa native.

“I think it is important to restore tribal land because the Native Americans have thousands of years of history on the land,” said Spire.

Spire was not the only one of the Soldiers who took the responsibility of restoring the precious land on a personal level.

“If it was my culture, then it would be important to repair the cultural sites for the future generations, so that they can see the history of their ancestors,” said 1st Sgt. Aliioaiga Lesii, a Hawaiian native and Strike Team leader.

As the Soldiers continue their laborious work up until their last day in Plumas National Forest, the incident management team and resource advisors share their appreciation for the Soldiers impact and why it must be done.

“Without the Soldiers work and time, we’d be nowhere,” said Robinson.

U.S. Army North, as U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command remains committed to providing flexible Department of Defense support to the National Interagency Fire Center to respond quickly and effectively to assist our local, state, and federal partners in protecting people, property, and public lands.

For more information on the Department of Defense support to NIFC, visit: https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/NIFC