NWCG changes standards for crews and dozers

Rose Fire Lake Elsinore CA
A dozer constructs fireline on the Rose Fire near Lake Elsinore, California, July 31, 2017 Photo by Jeff Zimmerman.

Over the last five years the National Wildfire Coordinating Group has made revisions to the standards for hand crews and dozers

The NWCG establishes standards for the capabilities of firefighting aircraft, crews, and equipment. For example, a Type 1 Engine must carry 1,200 feet of 2.5″ hose and have a pump capability of 1,000 gallons per minute, while a Type 6 Engine needs to have 300 feet of 1.5″ hose and a 50 GPM pump.

There were a handful of changes made to the standards that were published in 2014.

The number of personnel on a Type 1 Crew was increased from 18 to 20, to 18 to 22. There were a couple of new position qualification requirements for leadership on crews. The new standard:

Permanent supervision:
Superintendent: TFLD, ICT4, FIRB
Asst. Supt.: STCR or TFLD and CRWB and ICT4
3 Squad Leaders: CRWB and ICT5
2 Senior Firefighters: FFT1

In 2014 Type 1 Crews only had to have three “agency-qualified” sawyers. Now there must be four certified Intermediate Fallers (FAL2) and 50 percent of the crew needs to be qualified as Basic Faller (FAL3).

The number of programmable radios on a Type 1 Crew was increased from five to eight.

There were major changes for dozers. The horsepower was increased for all types, a fourth type was added, and minimum base weights were established.

New requirements dozers
New requirements for dozers, December, 2019. NWCG.

This category was added to account for the sudden increase during the last two years in the number of UAS, or drones, now being used on many types of incidents. More information is at Fire Aviation.

An additional type of air tanker has been added since 2014 — the Very Large Air Tanker which is required to have a capacity of at least 8,000 gallons.

I did not notice any significant changes in the requirements for helicopters, engines, water tenders, or Type 2 crews.

The NWCG Standards for Wildland Fire Resource Typing can be accessed here.