Yesterday we wrote about a suggestion at Fire Chief magazine that surplus military tanks should be converted to be able to suppress wildland fires. We pointed out that an M1A1 tank weighs 135,200 pounds and that even if the weapons and some of the depleted uranium armor was removed, transporting it on highways limited to 80,000 pounds and using it in an urban-wildland interface would not be easy. However there are other tracked military vehicles that are much lighter, some of which have been converted and used successfully to manage wildland fires.
For example, Michael sent us the photo above, and said:
We have a few of these around here in NC. Converted personel carriers. We call them fire tracks and the have a 500 gallon tank in the back with an electric ultra striker pump with honda motors. They are very handy to have in the more remote areas.
And there is the vehicle below that was used on the Lateral West Fire in the Great Dismal Swamp in 2011. It appears to be a Bombardier all-terrain vehicle. HERE is a link to examples of similar tracked commercially available non-military vehicles.
Frerson commented on yesterday’s article, saying that in France they are using a converted M113 armored tracked vehicle on wildland fires. They have a module with two of them which they use for suppressing fires in the southern part of the country. Atris Corporate appears to be involved in marketing the vehicle which is shown in the video below.