Take a two-minute tour of this US Forest Service wildland fire engine

Originally published at: Take a two-minute tour of this US Forest Service wildland fire engine | Boing Boing


Some of the logistical support equipment is equally impressive. A friend of mine helped build some fire-hardened off-road food trucks to feed the firefighting crews.


I worked the food line for the Cal Fire one season, once was enough, friggen scary work.


I’m surprised that they’re still spraying water instead of foam. You can cover a LOT more territory with foam than with water. Some brush trucks can basically just drive along parallel to the fire line hosing down the leading edge and “fireproofing” the fuel ahead of the leading edge.

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Nice! Seeing equipment neatly stored gives me ASMR-like tingles.

But what I really want to to see is the USFS’s gear for the LOAP.



Remarkably (or perhaps unremarkably) similar to our cat 7 trucks.


Hmmm. What is the chemistry I wonder?

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Search “fire fighting foam.” $HERSELF did the technical documentation for a fire truck manufacturer and says there are several different types that harden to a heat-tolerant crust. Some are even phytonutrients.


Lots of reasons firefighters might default to water instead of foam. For example, you can refill at any fire hydrant. There’s also the potential environmental and health hazards from long-term exposure to foam to consider.

Given the effects of climate change some portion of California will be most likely be on fire for the rest of our natural lives. At least we understand the implications of putting out those fires with water better than we understand the implications of putting out all those fires with other chemical agents.

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In town, yes. Out in a wilderness area not so much (been there. Protecting your hoses is … challenging.)

Certainly a concern. However, that’s why there are different types. Lots are readily biodegradable to common substances like silicates and even phosphates.

I believe it’s safe to say that the history of firefighting with silica and other silicates is rather long. Also quite a few minerals readily found in soil.


I’m all for outreach, but I’m getting a real Blippy/420 vibe from this guy. Other than the fact he managed to turn on the pump, I’m not convinced he’s ever picked up any of those tools before, even in training.

Also, real fire fighters are almost never clean…

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