The “Horseshoe Meadow Crew”, has been proudly serving the U.S.
Forest Service for the past 30 years. The crew was established in
1974 on the Hume Lake Ranger District of the Sequoia National
Forest. Ben Charley was the first superintendent. The crew was
stationed at Horseshoe Meadow KV (Knudsen-Vanderbilt) camp.
Originally there were 27 crew members, this allowed for
seven-day-a-week staffing. In the late 70’s due to budget short
falls, manpower programs such as California Indian Manpower
Consortium and Young Adult Conservation Corps were used through
Native American programs to hire crewmembers. The philosophy behind
this was to create diversity and develop a young, strong,
workforce. It also provided the district and forest with a
In 1980, the crew earned Hotshot status through a reputation of hard
work and safe firefighting becoming the Horseshoe Meadow Interagency
Hotshots. Ben Charley retired in 1989, but his famous line of “only
two more chains! We’re almost tied in”, is still spoken as a
motivational tool on Horseshoe to this day.
Robert Bennett “Horseshoe Bob” took over leading Horseshoe as Supt.
in August of 1989 and lead the crew until he retired in October of
2006. “Horseshoe Bob” continued the tradition that Ben started in
the early 70’s and provided the Forest Service with a highly
respected and hard working Interagency Hotshot Crew. In May of 2007
Joe Gonzales was hired to lead Horseshoe as Superintendent.
At present, the crew is stationed at Pinehurst Work Center in
Pinehurst, Ca. We are approximately 60 miles east of Fresno, CA.
Horseshoe Meadow Hotshot
Ben Charley-1974 to 1989
Bob Bennett-1989 to 2006
Joe Gonzales-2007 to