My department does not have wildland gear, however I am pushing to get some. We have very rural areas and our structural gear wears us down very quickly. We generally have the rule that if we can't fight the fire from the tailgate of the brush truck or easily knock it down we back off, protect exposures and wait for forrestry. Even though wildland gear will not change this much there are several instances where we assist forestry by walking the plow line looking for jumpers and not to mention summers in Alabama are brutal. Can anyone suggest a good brand of gear ?
My department has 8 sets of wildland gear (pants and jackets) stored away in the event we do get a bonafide wildland fire. Most of our so-called wildland fires consist of nothing more than an acre or less so we rarely use it. We get it out every once in a while and dust it off and evict the moths
This is a topic close to my heart. Why haven't I posted earlier? Oh well.
People have asked about your terrain and fuel load. I'll ask about what are the normal ambient temperatures in your grass/wildfire season? In your temperature scale, do you fight fires in temps of 75F? 85F? Higher? For fires of more than an acre or so, the warmer it is, the more the critical need for correct wildfire PPE.
Heavy structural PPE jackets? Bad news, your body is unable to shed the metabolic heat it builds up.
Heavy structural PPE pants? Same as the jackets.
Boots - rubber structural boots should never be worn to a wildfire, the fit is completely wrong.
Helmets? We consider our structural helmets as unsuitable for wildfire use because of the weight, and we wear Kevlar, which is much lighter than the leather helmets so popular over there (if that's what you use) or so I've read on a lot of threads.
Gloves. Why wear thick structural gloves when leather riggers gloves are fine? If you don't wear gloves you should!
If the wildfire PPE is too expensive for your FD to purchase (though an earlier poster advised that your forests people provide grants for this), then you're better off wearing cotton jeans and long sleeve shirt, leather boots and a light helmet. Not as safe as Nomex? True, but if the fire conditions are that bad, you shouldn't bloody well be there! Get the hell out.