The 2022 Hotshot Up Tournament was held in honor of Matthew Watt and Daniel Laird.
Matthew Watt is a loving husband of 15 years. He has 3 Beautiful boys, Davonte, Matthew Jr, and Raiden. He is also fighting for his life for the second time.
In early 2020 Matthew was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. He fought that battle and won, for a brief moment. After thinking the worst was in the past, Matthew went in for a regular checkup to find out that the cancer was back and in two different spots this time. Making his diagnosis stage 4 cancer. His doctors have given him a year and half, this past early September.
Matthew started his fire career with the California Conservation Corp, after after his oldest son Davonte was born. Matthew moved up through the ranks quickly, landing a seasonal spot with the Del Rosa hotshots. His first season with the crew was when Matthew really fell in love with fighting fire. He eventually moved onto an engine crew three years after his second, Matthew Jr., was born. Again, Matthew worked hard and moved up through the ranks and was AFEO once is youngest son, Raiden, was born.
Matthew is a wonderful man, a better husband ,a loving father, and one tough cookie.
Please join us in supporting Matthew and his family
On March 27, 2019 a helicopter carrying Daniel Laird and two other people was involved in an accident on the Sam Houston National Forest in Montgomery County, Texas. The team was supporting a prescribed fire operation. Unfortunately Daniel did not survive the crash.
Daniel started as a seasonal firefighter on the Tahoe and worked his way up to Helitack Captain. His passion was in aviation, but he was also known for his ability to lead a strike team of engines or a task force of hand crews and heavy equipment. He was a true leader in every sense. He was dedicated to being an instructor and a believer in the apprentice program, where he helped grow people just like himself. Daniel was originally from Graeagle, CA, and committed his working life to the Forest Service. He was extremely knowledgeable about his craft and loved his job. He had an infectious smile, natural physical talent, and his greatest love of all was his family.
This past year his widow Heather also passed away leaving their 11 year old daughter without parents.