A company in Redding, California has developed an attachment for a skid steer loader, such as a Bobcat, that enables them to be converted to a firefighting apparatus.
The FYREBX has a 300-gallon water tank with a pump powered by the skid steer’s hydraulic system. It can flow water at 5 gallons per minute up to 250 gallons per minute. One person can apply water from the cab using the two nozzles on the device, or a hose can be connected operated by a firefighter on the ground.
The operator inside the cab can turn the hydraulic power to the pump on or off, but the controls for varying the pressure and volume of water are on the outside of the FYREBX.
There are various ways the tank can be refilled, including driving the skid steer into a body of water and lowering the unit so that the submersible pump can fill the tank.
Matthew Wilson, the company’s Vice President for Sales and Service, told Wildfire Today that they have sold units to forestry companies and are in talks with the US Air Force about a sale of multiple units to be used at Air Force bases on the West Coast. He said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is also evaluating the FYREBX.
For the purchase price of $18,950, it comes with the equipment the US Forest Service requires for timber companies in a “fire box”, 3 shovels, 2 axes, 1 pulaski, mcleods, 1 fire extinguisher, 100 ft of 1.5″ wildland hose, and 200 feet of 3/4″ wildland hose, said Sean Henry, President of the company. An optional accessory is a compressed air foam system.