Staying safe in the field when you’re a wildland firefighter is a lot of work, but it is possible with the right wildland fire gear. There are some wildland fire gear facts you should know about that show just how protective and complicated this gear can be. It keeps wildland firefighters safe, but there is much more to love about this equipment.
Cleaning Is a Challenge
Wildland fire gear keeps firefighters safe in the field, but getting surrounded by smoke, fire, and flame retardant can quickly dirty up your gear. However, with this equipment’s specialization, you can’t simply toss them in the washer and dryer. Instead, you need a certified professional to handle the cleaning process, ensuring your gear gets cleaned and remains functional.
Another interesting fact about wildland fire gear is that it may be more heat resistant than you think. Manufacturers often use Nomex to meet National Fire Protection Association (NPFA) standards. It’s a flame-resistant material that helps your wildland fire gear withstand even the most extreme temperatures. Some wildfires can reach temperatures like 1600 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can stay safe with Nomex in your gear.
It Needs To Be Flexible
One of the main differences between structural bunker gear and wildland fire gear is that bunker gear is heavy-duty. These firefighters enter a structure and must stay protected, so they wear multiple layers of heavy equipment. Wildland firefighters need to keep safe too, but they also need their gear to be lightweight and flexible to have freedom of movement when out in the field. If they wore a structural firefighter’s bunker gear, they might be better protected, but they’ll be exhausted from carrying all that gear by the time they make it to the fire.
Wildland fire gear is the first and often most crucial layer of protection for firefighters against the wildland fires they’re fighting, but they’re not indestructible. While the lifespan can change depending on your job's intensity, wildland fire gear typically lasts three to six years. Standard maintenance and cleaning will help that stay on the six-year side of the lifespan. Currently, the NFPA requires that you retire your gear after 10 years of service if it lasts that long.
You should know about these wildland fire gear facts because they show how much this gear does to keep wildland firefighters safe. Staying safe when out in the field takes a lot of work, but it’s possible with the right wildland fire gear. Here at The Supply Cache, we have the perfect wildland fire pants and other brush gear you’ll need to stay safe in the field while agile enough to properly contain the fires.