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Forest Service Engines

firefighter with smoke in background

Engine Crews are teams of career and temporary agency employees that uphold a tradition of excellence and have solid reputations as multi-skilled professional firefighters. Engine crews are used for initial attack, suppression of large fires, support of prescribed fires, patrolling, and providing structure protection. These crews range in size from 3 to 10 firefighters and work with specialized firefighting equipment and perform many strenuous activities, including construction of fireline with hand tools, hose lays, burnout operations, and mopping up hotspots near the fire's edge.

Wildland fire engines use and carry special equipment to spray water, foam, and chemicals. The engines are able to carry up to 800 gallons of water. Many wildland fire engines are also equipped with four wheel drive and special equipment for off-road use. Engine Crews use many tools for their jobs. The main tool is hose lines and water to fight fires and they can lay these lines for many miles and up steep mountain slopes. forest service engine

Engine Crews are skilled in hose lays, fitting identification and use, portable pump setup, use of foam; hose pack construction and deployment, and engine operations. Crews are also trained in line construction and the use of pulaskis, chainsaws, radios, portable pumps, and the use of firing devices to create "fuel breaks " between the fire and unburned fuel. They are very versatile along with their skillsets, and often support other fire crews including Helitack, handcrews, and Hotshot crews.

A typical day for an engine crew includes initial attack responsibilities, project work (trail maintenance, thinning, facility maintenance, etc.), equipment maintenance, and physical training for at least 1 hour and drills/training. When assigned to a fire their hours are long and demanding.

The Sawtooth National Forest has 6 wildland fire engines including four Type 6 engines and two Type 4 engines. The engines and their crews are stationed at different locations across the Forest. The fire organization on the Forest is split into three different fire management geographic areas; the North Zone (Comprised of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Ketchum Ranger District), along with the Fairfield Ranger District and Minidoka Ranger District.

forest service truckForest Information: The Sawtooth National Forest is just over 2 million acres and divided into three Ranger Districts and manages the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Elevations range from 4,513 to 12,009 feet above sea level offering a great variety of topography and vegetation. The Forest extends from northern Utah to the Salmon River country near Stanley Idaho. The Sawtooth Wilderness offers 250 miles of trails, 42 major peaks over 10,000 feet and 300 lakes. LINKS: