3 Ways CAL FIRE Firefighters Are Preparing for Fire Season This Year

In the 2021 fire season, California experienced almost 9,000 fires that burned a total of more than 2.5 million acres of land. By the end of February 2022, there have already been 428 fires that have consumed over 5,000 acres of land throughout the state. 

While wildfires are occurring more often, and the fire season becomes larger, Californian firefighters need to prepare for the fire season, so they can continue their outstanding work. It’s always easier to prepare in advance than to find what firefighter essentials you need when a fire occurs. Here are three tips to help you and your fellow firefighters prepare for this year’s fire season:

1. Evaluate, Repair, and Maintain Necessary Equipment

CAL FIRE is fortunate enough to get most of its equipment through the Federal Excess Personal Property Program (FEPP), which allows your station house to borrow equipment from the federal government instead of buying it from your own budget. This includes taking on loan:

  • Trucks

  • Fire tools

  • Hoses

  • Vehicle parts

  • Nozzles

  • Generators

  • Air compressors

  • Aircraft

  • Aircraft parts

The lull between the 2021 fire season and the 2022 season may be the ideal time to evaluate this equipment and make any necessary repairs or requests for replacements. You need all this equipment to be ready to go to a wildfire at a moment’s notice. 

Trucks and aircraft might require general maintenance, repairs, or a complete overhaul to ensure they’re ready to transport your team when you get the call about a fire. You might need to put in a requisition for new equipment, and the downtime between the wildfire seasons is the time to do this, so you have the items you need on hand. You don’t want to find your company waiting on new parts for a truck or new hoses when the first wildfire starts. 

2. Community Education and Support

From carelessly tossed cigarette butts out of a car window to gender reveal parties gone wrong, the public can be linked as the cause of some California wildfires. Offering resources and support to the local community can reduce the number of wildfires and help locals understand the importance of evacuating when asked to do so. 

One program that CAL FIRE offers to the public is an inspection of their home to evaluate their homes for a defensible space zone, which is required by Assembly Bill 3074. During your downtime between wildfire seasons, you can inspect many homes to see if they’ve developed this safe zone and educate them on the details of creating a safe zone that can minimize their risk of a wildfire taking their home. 

As part of community outreach and education, you and your fellow firefighters are updating the CAL FIRE Ready for Fire website. You’re helping the community sign up for texts when wildfires appear in their area and use the new app designed to help them create an evacuation plan if it becomes necessary. 

3. Restocking Your Personal Clothing and Equipment

You work long hours during the fire season, and your clothes and shoes show a lot of wear and tear by the end of it. To get through the upcoming fire season, which seems to get a little longer each year, you need to go ahead and restock your shoes and clothing that you need to successfully fight fires. This can include new work boots to make it easier to move through the forest. 

You also need items, such as goggles to protect your eyes and comfortable clothing designed for your rough and tumble lifestyle fighting fires. Some of the best brands for firefighter essentials and work clothing include:

  • Carhartt

  • Dickies

  • Wrangler

  • Riggs

  • Levis

  • Ben Davis

  • Viking

  • And others!

You might need new t-shirts, pants, and coveralls that fit comfortably without sagging. You need clothing that moves with your body without cutting too tightly in any area. 

The lull between wildfire seasons presents you with the perfect opportunity to take stock and replace any pieces of work clothing and personal gear that isn’t going to make it through the next season. You can make your list and handle all of your shopping in one location. 

Restock at Cal Fire Gear

Cal Fire Gear has all the firefighter essentials you need from the brands that last. 

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