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Wildland Firefighter Gear: Prepared for the Summer Wildfire Blaze

Zephyr Fire Crew 2008
Zephyr Fire Crew 2008

The Protect Our West (POW) campaign is in full effect this summer with the Wildland Firefighter Foundation and Coors Banquet. Join us and help support our Wildland Firefighters by buying Coors Banquet. In this article, we break down what kind of gear Wildland Firefighters use to protect themselves while fighting fires.

climate change wildfires

Just this year Chicago was gripped for months on end by an Arctic deep freeze while come summer, wildfires raged and consumed thousands of acres of vegetation and plant life. The Tucker fire has burned approximately 14, 000 acres of land. Arizona has had various fires with minimal monsoon activity this year, which is unlike any other year in the history of Arizona monsoons. Near Reno, the California wildfire named the Long Valley Fire has burned more than 2,400 acres. The list goes on and on. In fact, there are currently 1,839 active wildfires throughout the entire Western side of the United States.

Heat Map Image courtesy of © 2019 Fire, Weather & Avalanche Center

Image courtesy of © 2019 Fire, Weather & Avalanche Center

But how much does it really cost to outfit a Wildland Firefighter? According to spokespeople from the U.S. Forest Service, it costs up to $2,700 to outfit a Wildland Firefighter from head to toe.

Wildland Firefighter Gear-Prepared for the Summer Wildfire Blaze

Wildland Firefighter Foundation (WFF)

Founded in 1994 in Boise, ID by Vicki Minor, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation is one such organization dedicated to mitigating the effects of climate control. It is specifically a nonprofit organization which aims to serve and aid firefighters in the line of duty and provide relief to injured firefighters, firefighters lost in the line of duty, and their families.

The cost of outfitting a wildland firefighter

Photo Source: U.S. Forest Service – Photo by Luis Sanchez Saturno/The New Mexican

The Gear

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation also has its own network of volunteer firefighters who rush out to aid official firefighting services and assist in any way in search and rescue. The gear of your average Wildland firefighter is the following:

  • Weighty fire boots
  • Fire retardant coats and pants
  • Protective goggles and gloves
  • Helmets
  • Axes
  • Hoses
  • Slurry planes
  • Air tankers
MAFFS #5 2013

MAFFS #5 aircraft activated in 2013

This gear and equipment are intended to achieve 3 broad purposes:

1.     Protection

Fire boots, fire retardant clothing, and protective goggles are all for the purposes of providing the maximum security to firefighters. Firefighting is one of the most hazardous modern occupations with high risks of long term respiratory diseases or cancers.

This equipment and the continuous developments in it are all so that our saviors can themselves savor the gift of life while striving to protect the life of others.

2.     Search and Rescue

Axes and hoses help firefighters in clearing and cutting debris in order to reach any trapped people. Time is of the essence in rescuing people or animals caught in wildfires, even a minute more can be sufficient to cause death by choking.

3.     Fire Suppression

Wildfires very quickly grow to become raging infernos in a matter of minutes. They are not something which can be controlled by conventional methods.

Slurry planes and air tankers are the latest developments to combat this menace by herding and corralling this path of the fire. This helps to contain it and die out sooner.

Wildland Firefighter Gear-Prepared for the Summer Wildfire Blaze

Protect Our West (POW)

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation is a wholly publically supported organization which runs on donations and public funding. To this end, the Coors Banquet has been a proud and long partner of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.

It raises funding for the WFF from its sales during certain periods and together, both organizations run the Protect Our West campaign. This is designed to serve and help the brave firefighters, volunteers and their families lead lives of dignity and self-respect. It is they who rush to take care of us, so it falls on us to take care of them when they need it.

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Living the Cowboy Lifestyle since 1988. CLN Team member since 2012. Arizona native. Corona del Sol High School, University of Arizona & SAE Alumni. Favorite Quote: "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." W. Churchill

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