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The Gold Rush Star You Didn't Know Used To Be A Wildland Firefighter

Discovery Channel's "Gold Rush" first aired over 10 years ago and it has since managed to gather a pretty considerable fanbase. Now on its 12th season, audiences have been watching the mining teams of Parker Schnabel, Tony Beets, and Rick Ness dig for riches in parts of Canada and the United States for some time. Season 12 has had lots in store, including multiple confrontations between mining groups, costly mistakes, and new leads on undiscovered gold. The latest episode of the show is the 12th in Season 12, titled "Robbing Parker to Pay Parker."

Since the beginning, all three crews have been full of hardworking and dedicated miners, but some of the guys had some interesting jobs before they began to dig for gold. In fact, a miner from "Gold Rush: White Water" who has made many appearances since his arrival a few seasons back, Dustin Hurt, had a wilder and more dangerous career path before becoming a part of "Gold Rush: White Water."

Dustin Hunt went from construction to fighting forest fires

According to an interview with Nemo Power Tools and his biography on Discovery.com, Dustin Hurt has a pretty laborious and dangerous resume. Initially starting in construction where he installed seawalls in the Louisiana Bayou (an already tough and dangerous job), Hurt soon moved on to train and become a wildland firefighter for the California Forest Service. This sort of job has long been noted as one of the most dangerous in the world, especially for a firefighter — and with the fires in California forests in recent years, it's highly deadly.

Hurt was apparently a hotshot on his crew, often heading straight for blazes that led him to be stranded in remote locations for extended time periods. He worked specifically with wildfire suppression tactics, using tools like chainsaws and axes to create breaks in a fire in an effort to tame the intensity of the blaze. His father Fred then requested his help searching for gold and Dustin said yes, only because he was looking to try something new.

Dustin's time on the show has certainly proved useful for his father and the rest of their group. He took to the method of dredging very quickly, and noted that his background in construction and wildland firefighting prepared him by giving him the work ethic needed to stand out on "Gold Rush."

The next episode of "Gold Rush" Season 12 will air on Friday, December 31. All episodes are also streaming on Discovery+.