Cherokee Fire Dancers deploy to Oregon


Front row: Lacey Crawford, D.Y. Wolf and John Campbell. Back row: William St. Clair, Henry McClain, Bill Wacoche, Danny Maritt, Randy Studie, Koda Teehee, Michael Scott, David Collins and Standingbear Teehee.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — A dozen Cherokee Nation Fire Dancers were deployed Tuesday to Oregon to help fight wildfires in Northern California.

The Fire Dancers will work 16-hour days, hiking up to seven miles per day to cut down timber to create fire breaks to help battle the flames.

“It’s a thrill watching a fire as it’s contained and know you’ve helped,” said Danny Maritt, of Tahlequah, who has been a Fire Dancer for 23 years. “We’re glad we’re out there making a difference.”

To qualify as a Cherokee Fire Dancer requires a strength test of carrying 45 pounds while walking three-miles within a 45-minute period. The Fire Dancers also conduct fire training once a year.

The group is called up by the U.S. Forestry Department. The Fire Dancers last mission was Hurricane Sandy cleanup in New Jersey.

Cherokee Nation News Release
Julie Hubbard - 918-207-3896 

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