Wildland Fire Engines

Structure Protection

Structure protection at the East Entrance, 2001.


Yellowstone has one wildland fire engine. Engine 691 is staffed cooperatively by the park and the Gallatin National Forest. Each agency contributes personnel to staff the engine from May through October. The engine supports the initial attack of fires locally, as well as large firefighting efforts throughout the country.

Generally, engine crews are used for initial attack on developing fires close to roads. However, 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 use water to build wetline. Wetline is fireline that uses water in place of digging to mineral soil. This minimizes the impact to vegetation and limits erosion.

Structure triage is the process of identifying which structures can be saved and which cannot be saved. For those structures that can be saved, sprinklers and foil wrap can be used for protection. Reducing fuels around the structures is also a valuable technique to reduce the intensity of fires around structures.

Yellowstone maintains a cache of pumps and water handling equipment. Pumps are available in several different varieties and capacities from small pumps for mopping up to large pumps to support structure protection.


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