Posted: Jun 1, 2010 9:12 AM by Mark Thorsell
Updated: Jun 1, 2010 9:12 AM
MISSOULA - Wildland firefighting operations in Ravalli County will be receiving a big boost on Thursday when the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation delivers a new fire engine to the Three Mile Rural Fire Department.
DNRC State Forester Bob Harrington will deliver the engine and handing over the keys at Three Mile Fire Department Station #1.
"This engine is a brand new 2010 Ford F-550s equipped with a 500 gallon tank and foam capability," said Mike Kopitzke, DNRC Southwestern Land Office Fire Program Manager. "It will replace an old Type-6 engine with a 300 gallon tank that has been used by the County for several years."
The older engine will be turned back in to the DNRC for possible redevelopment.
The new equipment is being provided through the State and County Cooperative Fire Program, which is an agreement between DNRC and all 56 Montana counties to maintain critical wildland firefighting equipment, organization and readiness.
The DNRC provides the funding for equipment and assists with training, while the counties then assume initial attack responsibilities on all state and private land= s within their jurisdiction. The State also provides fire suppression assistanc= e on fires that exceed the county's capability.
According to DNRC Fire and Aviation Bureau Chief Ted Mead, the Department builds 20 engines each year for the Coop program at a cost of $40,000 per engine.
"We build these vehicles to the very highest standards, the lives of firefighters depend upon it," Mead said.
Find out more about the State and County Cooperative Fire Program by clicking here.