Equipping The Frontline: Preparing For Wildfire Season

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Preparing for wildfire season isn’t a simple process and requires comprehensive planning and coordination from various positions across wildland firefighting crews. Whether it’s maintenance and replacement of hand tools and PPE or annual refresher training, wildland firefighter duties start well before stepping on the fireline.


From the initial stages of fire suppression to ongoing fireline construction and maintenance, hand tools are an indispensable component of a firefighter’s toolkit and require regular inspection and maintenance to ensure their effectiveness in the fight against wildfires. The responsibility falls on wildland fire crews to ensure the proper maintenance and readiness of these tools for the upcoming fire season.

Inspection & Cleaning

Thorough inspections of hand tools should be done regularly to make sure they are in optimal condition. Remove any dirt, debris, or residue from all equipment to guarantee tools last and perform properly when on the line.

Tool Sharpening

Sharpen damaged or dull cutting hand tools with a file or grinder to ensure they are effective in cutting through vegetation and digging firelines.

Corrosion Prevention

Apply a thin layer of oil or rust inhibitor to tool heads to prevent corrosion and keep them free of paint or rust.

Handle Maintenance

Check to make sure handles are securely attached to tool heads and sand down any rough spots on handles to prevent splinters and ensure a comfortable grip. Refinish with a light coating of linseed oil.

Repair & Replacement

Identify any damaged or worn-out components that need repair or replacement. Tools that are beyond repair and no longer meet safety standards and regulatory guidelines should be replaced.

During inventory assessments, crews may find it necessary to replace worn-out tools, add additional equipment to their inventory, or explore new tools in wildland firefighting. National Fire Fighter Corp. provides a wide selection of fire equipment and tools, ensuring crews are well-prepared and equipped for the fire season.


Beyond tool maintenance, the top priority for a wildland firefighter is ensuring that they are equipped with the essential PPE to guarantee their safety and effectiveness when on the line. Is your wildland pack equipped with the required PPE?

Wildland Firefighting PPE

  • Protective Clothing
  • Gloves
  • Protective Footwear
  • Hard Hat
  • Eye Protection
  • Face Protection
  • Fire Shelter
  • Securing the readiness of personal protective equipment (PPE) is a vital step for wildland firefighters as they prepare. Engaging in a series of steps, including thorough inspections, cleaning, functionality tests, and replacing worn-out PPE will significantly enhance their preparedness for the challenges this wildfire season brings.


    As an ongoing and integral part of their profession, wildland firefighters undergo training every fire season to ensure they are ready to respond to the rigorous conditions of wildfires. Whether receiving training on equipment use or being refreshed on operations and decision-making issues related to fireline safety (RT-130), training is a continuous process that equips wildland firefighters with the knowledge and skills necessary for an effective response. RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher, is designed to focus on fireline safety operations and decision-making issues and is required for all personnel assigned to positions involving fireline duties.


    From the essential maintenance and replacement of hand tools and PPE to ongoing refresher training, the efforts of wildland fire crews to prepare for wildland fire season start well before stepping on the line. These efforts ensure that crews enter wildfire season with a well-maintained and upgraded set of resources, ready to face the unpredictable and demanding nature of wildfires.

    Preparing For Wildfire Season with NFFC

    Shop Clothing, PPE, Fire Equipment Tools, and More HERE!

    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.

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