Well I work for the Oregon Dept of Forestry which provides first response wildland resources. Our fleet has 9 type 6 engines and 3 type 5 engines. For us, we look for packing as much as we can into the smallest package we can. In there mountains my type 6 as done things and taken me places I never dreamed. I just wish I had more water. Now I've also seen fire depts in rolling hills and grass lands that use 1800 gallon tenders as first attack wildland units because they pack enough water and can access most of the fire locations.
My opinion, it's all demographics, I want as much water as I can pack, so if I don't need to sneak around the forestland, I'll take a type 3 loaded with water.
I am located just south of Spokane in the Tri Cities..all the departments here use structural engines Type 1's and then wildland units (Type 6 Engines just regular 1 ton trucks) My Dept has a couple Type 6 wildland trucks regular 1 tons, 3 Type 3 Engines for wildland and 1 Type 2 engine and it does structural and wildland firefighting. We also have 4 Type 1 Engines that are for structure firefighting but also are set up for wildland urban interface. All of our wildland units are 4x4 and they get around great. Our type 2 and 3's were made in california by WestMark. Very well designed and well built for the job. They are on 2005 international chasis. We also run 4 water tenders that carry 2000 gallons for wildland response and areas that don't have hydrants.
Brush trucks are the best thing scince sliced bread!!!! i am an operator for the feds and the two rigs we have are a type 4 and a type 3 we have a 2006 F-550 4 door and it has foam, 300 gal, 110 GPM pump and the other one is 700 gal 3 seater international with a 150 GPM 20 gal of foam. we can get alot more smaller places than the heavys and they just about can do the same as a bigger type 3.
A brush truck at least in our department is a great addition. We built our own on a flatbed truck and use it constantly. Nine out of ten calls we get are median fires, hay fires, or just general brush fires. I love to just pump and roll.
Our department has 8 mini pumpers on F350 Chassis', as well as 2 F-250 brush units with slide-ins. We only roll the engine and/or tanker for water supply. We also have a Polaris Ranger with a mini slide-in, and a Kawasaki Mule for carrying personnel. Makes it very nice, getting back into the hills and valleys.
We have two brush trucks. Due to limitied manpower at times both are equipped so the driver can fight the fire from the cab. Not the best setup, but it works for us. No rookies are allowed by themselves. We roll the engine for large grass fires for water and in case of structural impingement.
brush trucks, we got ours and we use it a very good amount, we are a rural township with railroads, farms, and roads.
brush trucks are your best bet for these instances because of the versatility of the apparatus. when the rails roll in the summer they start some pretty good blazes, and face it, you aren't gonna get an engine in nearly any of the places our brush fire start.
and we also rigged our brush up with a load of cones on the tail to assist with traffic control on mva's.
we have booster lines, scba's, cones, a chain saw, blower, foam, and various tools so our brush can act as a multipurpose apparatus if we need. i believe brush trucks are a must when it comes to rural departments like mine.
We have 2 Sate based Dozers across the parking lot from Us at the DNR station, they also have 2 brush trucks. The Dozer are pulled by type 4 engines (850 gallons of water 500 GPM pump Class A foam) pulling miller tilt top trailers. My Department Respondes to Brush/Forest/Field Fires with a 2004 Ford F350 125 gallon Tank Booster (reel hose for us Backwoods guys) hose, and a full assortment of wildland hand tools. However our 2000 Pierce Contender Pumper also has Booster hose on it and we use that if we can reach it from the roadway. Typically both Rigs and usually one if not both Tankers roll too.
My FD has 1 brush/wildland unit and 2 class A pumpers, and a 1800gal tanker with a 250gpm pump. When responding to brush/woods fires our first priority is structural protection, and we can commit our full size rigs to these positions....normally on paved roadways. Our brush unit can go off road, over fields, through logging roads etc. Having this unit available not only allows us to get into more difficult places, but prevents our primary units from being subjected to these environments. Our brush truck is basically a 4wd pickup with a 300gal tank and a small gas powered pump in the back. The hoses are rubber hoses, designed to be charged while still on the reels, and pulled as needed. This very versitle unit also allows us to initiate a "pump and roll" attack cutting off the head of a fire.
It all depends on the about the fire departments needs. If they are prone to having grass fires, or have the need for a vehicle that can get into places such as a narrow trail or driveway. Are fire department just got a new one, its I believe a F-550. It has a squad type body on it with a water tank and a pump.