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Case Study: Bureau of Land Management, NIFC

Carl Dorsey, Supervisory Fire Equipment Specialist

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) provides fire protection for some of the most remote terrain in the country. The vast open rangeland of the Great Basin area in Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah is especially difficult to protect because of the long response distances, high altitudes, and extreme temperatures. Fire crews often spend more time driving off paved roads than on, and water sources are almost non existent.

To meet this tough challenge, BLM operates a fleet of rugged wildland apparatus, including eight big engines and water tenders built on Tatra 6x6 chassis. The engines have crew cabs for three to five firefighters and are equipped with 140 gpm pumps, 2400-gallon water tanks, and compressed air foam systems. The water tenders are designed to operate with crews of two. All of the units have Akron Brass FireFox bumper monitors.

Carl Dorsey is the BLM supervisory fire equipment specialist at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. “We use remote-control monitors on many of our wildland engines and tenders,” he says. ”They let us attack fires that are difficult to reach or when flame lengths make it too dangerous for personnel to approach on the ground.”

BLM uses monitors with remote-control fog nozzles to handle water, aspirated foam, and compressed air foam. The control box is in the cab on a short cable to allow either the driver or the front passenger to adjust and direct the stream.

BLM also specified disconnects on the control cables and plumbing so that the monitors can be removed and stored as a protection against freezing temperatures and potential theft during the winter months when many of the wildland apparatus are inactive.

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