Fire engine use

Engine crews may work on fires near roads.

Fire Engines

Most parks are located away from urban areas and maintain their own wildland fire protection and suppression equipment, including wildland fire engines. They come in different sizes (Types) depending upon how many gallons of water they hold and the gallons per minute (GPM) the pump can produce. Most wildland fire engines are four wheel drive and have off road capability. Some can 'pump and roll'—drive slowly while deploying water—or engines like Type 3's can pump from a stationary position using a power take off (PTO); and all engines have Class A foam capability. While some parks have complete engine crews that provide fire protection, in many parks, fire protection is augmented by collateral duty park employees.

Water Tenders

Water tenders are used to move large amounts of water to remote locations in support of wildland fire operations. Although they are large, water tenders are generally operated by one or two firefighters. Water tenders are typically two wheel drive and not for off road use.

Engine crews

Engine crews are used for initial attack on developing fires close to roads. The crew can hike or be flown to fires in more remote areas. During extended attack, engine crews support fireline production, structure protection, and helicopter operations. One advantage of engine crews is the ability to build "wet line". Wet line is fireline that uses water or foam in place of digging to mineral soil. This minimizes the impact to vegetation and limits erosion.

Water Handling Equipment

Many parks maintain a cache of pumps and water handling equipment such as wildland fire hose and fittings. Pumps are of several different varieties and capacities, from small pumps for mopping up, to large pumps to support structure protection.

Wildland Engines

Type 3

  • A wildland engine with a minimum pump capacity of 150 GPM
  • 500 or more gallon tank
  • 500 feet of 1 1/2" hose
  • 500 feet of 1" hose
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) generally greater than 26,000 pounds
  • Requires a minimum crew of 3

Type 4

  • A wildland engine with a minimum pump capacity of 50 GPM
  • 750 or more gallon tank
  • 300 feet of 1 1/2" hose
  • 300 feet of 1" hose
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) generally greater than 26,000 pounds
  • Requires a minimum crew of 2

Type 6

  • An initial attack wildland engine with a minimum pump capacity of 30 GPM
  • 150 to 400 gallon tank
  • 300 feet of 1 1/2" hose
  • 300 feet of 1" hose
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) generally less than 26,000 pounds
  • Requires a minimum crew of 2

Type 7

  • A standard duty vehicle chassis
  • The vehicle has a small pump (10 gpm)
  • 50 to 200 gallon tank
  • 200 feet of 1" hose
  • It is a multipurpose unit used for patrol, mop up or initial attack with a crew of 2

Water Tenders

Type 2

  • A water tender with a minimum pump capacity of 200 GPM
  • 2500 gallon or more tank
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) greater than 26,000 pounds

Type 3

  • A water tender with a minimum pump capacity of 200 GPM
  • 1000 gallon to 2500 gallon tank
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) greater than 26,000 pounds
fire engine in the woods

Type 3 engine at Lassen Volcanic National Park.

fire engine in the foreground and fire in the background

Type 6 engine on a fire on the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribal Reservation.