Braving the smoke, heat and danger of wildland fires or the aftermath of disasters and emergency incidents is an “army” of federal/state and local agency responders battling to contain the crisis. When the magnitude of the event exceeds agency resources, these agencies can call in reinforcements from professional wildland fire contractors: 20-person firefighting crews, timber faller modules, engines, tenders and other specialized equipment.
Pre-existing agreements and contracts with the agencies allow National Wildfire Suppression Association (NWSA) member and associate member companies to dispatch these resources immediately. More than 420 crews and approximately 14,000 pieces of specialized equipment is available from Professional Private Wildland Fire Services for dispatch across the U.S.
Because of budget cutbacks and increased fire activity, agencies are increasingly calling on these private resources on an as-needed basis. They are paid only for time worked on the line. The contractor bears all costs of training, equipment, travel, and insurance costs.
After a 12-14 hour shift on the line, agency and private contractor crews need a place to eat, sleep, shower and revitalize. In addition to providing crews, engines, tenders and other specialized equipment for the front lines, contractors can send resources to set up a totally operational camp: shower, laundry, lavatory, and housing units, as well as catering operations that can feed thousands of firefighters or emergency responders.