BLM Supports Gunnison County Fire District’s Response Capabilities

The Bureau of Land Management Southwest Colorado Fire and Aviation Management Unit transferred a Type VI wildland fire engine to Gunnison County Fire Protection District to enhance their wildland firefighting capabilities. A type VI engine is one of the most common tools deployed in wildland fire response because of its versatility, off-road capabilities, and ability to transport 320 gallons of water and five firefighters. The engine was transferred under BLM’s new Rural Fire Readiness program, which is designed to provide equipment to local wildland firefighting partners at no cost.

“The BLM has a productive relationship Gunnison County Fire Protection District, and we cooperate regularly to suppress fires that threaten communities, property and natural resources,” said Brandon Lewis, BLM Fire Management Officer. “This fire engine will improve Gunnison County Fire Protection District’s overall effectiveness in suppressing wildland fires on private, state and federal lands.”

Cooperative partnerships between the BLM and local and rural fire departments are crucial to remote wildfire response on private, state, and federal lands affecting grazing, recreation, wildlife, and other values important to local economies. Every year, an average of 4,553 wildfires burn approximately 131,016 acres of land in Colorado. The BLM often works closely with cooperators to suppress wildfires in southwest Colorado.

To receive wildland firefighting vehicles, equipment and supplies through the Rural Fire Readiness program, local fire departments must meet the following requirements:

  • Have an existing cooperative fire response agreement with the BLM
  • Serve a rural community or area
  • Have wildland fire protection responsibilities
  • Be near BLM-administered lands and respond to wildland fires in support of BLM when available

The BLM accepts applications from local fire departments for available vehicles, equipment, and supplies and typically transfers excess items to local fire departments during fall and winter months, prior to the next fire season.

For more information on the RFR program, contact Brandon Lewis at 970-240-5351 or bclewis@blm.gov.

-BLM-

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

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