3 Things You Should Know About Fire Axes

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3 Things You Should Know About Fire Axes

Wildland firefighters use many tools to contain and control fires. One of the most important tools is the fire axe. This tool is common among wildland firefighter badges, so you may be familiar with it. How does it help firefighters? You can read here to learn some different things about this invaluable firefighting tool.

Two Kinds

While many firefighters normally carry one fire axe, they’ll use multiple kinds in the line of duty, namely the flathead and Pulaski axes. Structural firefighters will use this axe to smash windows or doors to enter places cut off by fires and resulting damage, but this axe has limited abilities. Wildland firefighters will typically use a Pulaski axe, a combination fire axe and hoe.

This axe is like a multitool for firefighters since they can use it to chop debris in their way and dig with the hoe when needed. Going back and forth with a simple twist is invaluable when trying to suppress wildfires and create fire lines.

Stopping Fires

The application of fire axes for structural fires is simple; firefighters use them to enter burning structures. Wildland firefighters use these axes to clear debris when traveling toward fires. They’re also useful for creating fire lines.

A big part of wildland firefighting is preventing fires from spreading. While some firefighters tackle the fire itself, others work on containing it by creating fire lines that the flames cannot pass. Wildland firefighters use their axes to dig up soil, cover brush, and chop loose branches to make fire lines. They may bring out a chainsaw for big trees and boughs, but the axe works well enough for smaller foliage.

Axes Require Maintenance

Axes are incredibly powerful and important in the field, but they're not indestructible. Too much use adds up and dulls the blade, rendering it ineffective. Equipment maintenance is a big part of wildland firefighting. Firefighters must keep the blade sharp and remove any built-up grime or rust. The axe handle and grip can warp or crack, so keeping an eye on them to address these issues will ensure firefighters have an effective tool when they’re called into action.

You should know all about fire axes to understand and appreciate the hard work these firefighters do every day in the field. It’s a tough job, which is why getting the right equipment is vital. At The Supply Cache, we take that job seriously. We are the one-stop shop for all wildland fire tools that firefighters need. If you’re a wildland firefighter, you can contact us today to find the equipment you need to stay safe and get the job done.