Working day and night when conditions permit, wildland firefighters work far from normal schedules. They are exposed to a variety of climate conditions, making thorough planning and preparation vital in the fight against wildland fires. Whether fires ignite outside the traditional fire season or wildland firefighters are on night shift, being equipped with the right cold weather gear can make a difference for the brave men and women fighting fires across the country.
NAVIGATING COLD WEATHER RISKS
Although wildland firefighters commonly face extreme heat, they also face the possibility of sustaining cold weather injuries on the job. This risk becomes more prominent when wildfires burn into the fall and temperatures drop, particularly during the night or early morning. As the seasons change, it’s important for wildland firefighters not to overlook the potential for cold weather-related injuries, including hypothermia.
Hypothermia poses a significant threat to wildland firefighters as they navigate the unpredictable environments of wildfires in cold climates. Exposure to damp conditions, sudden drops in temperatures, and extended periods spent in wet clothing are factors that can contribute to cold-related illnesses and injuries. Particularly during night operations or early morning hours, wildland firefighters need to ensure they remain aware of their environmental surroundings and are adequately equipped to face the diverse weather conditions they are met with.
Staying dry, warm, and comfortable during physically demanding operations allows wildland firefighters to focus on their duties without being hindered by extreme weather. This, in turn, can improve their performance and efficiency on the fire line.
The USDA has outlined several cold-weather procedures for wildland firefighters to follow, ensuring they stay warm and adequately protected while working in the field. From proper clothing and layering techniques to strategies for maintaining body heat and preventing cold-related injuries, these procedures serve as an important resource for wildland firefighters navigating cold climate conditions.
Base layers can play a pivotal role in the challenging and unpredictable elements wildland firefighters encounter. From moisture management to regulating body temperature, base layers are a key resource for wildland firefighters whether on the fireline or at camp. When utilized on the fireline, these base layers must be worn beneath wildland firefighters ‘yellow’, as they do not meet the NFPA 1977 requirements and cannot be worn as a single layer on the line.
Layers provide adaptability to fluctuating temperatures, allowing wildland firefighters to regulate their body temperature by adding or removing layers as needed. National Fire Fighter Corp. supplies many layering options that have moisture-wicking properties to help manage sweat, keep the skin dry, and reduce the risk of hypothermia and other illnesses in cold weather. In addition to layered clothing, the National Fire Fighter Corp. also provides essential accessories for wildland firefighters operating in cold climates or during night shift operations.
DragonWear Dual-Hazard Pro Dry Midweight Shirt – Designed to meet and exceed the challenges of moisture management, the DragonWear Dual-Hazard Pro Dry Midweight Shirt is inherently fire and arc-resistant and certified to meet NFPA 2112 and NFPA 70E.
DragonWear Pro Dry Tech Hoodie – At 6.2 ounces, the DragonWear Pro Dry Tech Hoodie is the lightest CAT 2 hoodie available on the market, making it the perfect layering option.
DragonWear Livewire Dual Hazard Beanie – Designed to fit comfortably under a helmet, the fire-resistant Livewire Dual Hazard Beanie is made with a fleece interior and flatlock seam construction, providing lightweight warmth and breathability in a variety of temperatures.
Petzl Pixa 3 Headlamp – Whether you’re engaged in tasks that require close-range precision or need long-range visibility, the PIXA headlamp adapts to all situations. The constant lighting technology guarantees a consistent level of brightness that won’t decrease as the battery drains.
EQUIPPED FOR ALL SEASONS
Whether battling fires outside the traditional fire season or working tirelessly on night shifts, having the right equipment is not just a matter of comfort; it is a crucial factor in ensuring the safety and effectiveness of wildland firefighters across the country. At National Fire Fighter Corp., we are committed to providing wildland firefighters with the gear and equipment that protects them in any weather condition they are met with.
Preparing For Wildfire Season with NFFC
The National Fire Fighter Corporation helps provide wildland firefighters with the products they need to protect themselves, their communities, and their property from the devastating effects of fire. NFFC is a trusted source for quality, reliable firefighting gear to help effectively extinguish fires, stay protected, and minimize injury. With innovative designs, and high-quality, durable materials, NFFC wildland fire equipment and products help keep the brave men and women fighting fires safe when things get hot.