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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074 | Fax: (406) 444-2684
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New wildland fire engines delivered to Bainville, Dagmar and Scobey

PLENTYWOOD, Mont. – The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) recently delivered three shiny, new wildland fire engines to volunteer departments in northeastern Montana.

“We built and supplied three brand new Ford F-550 Type 5 engines to volunteer fire departments in Bainville, Dagmar and Scobey,” said Don Pyrah, Area Fire Program Manager for the DNRC Northeastern Land Office in Lewistown. “These departments are trading in three ‘vintage’ engines - two from the 1980s models and one from the 1990s.

“The DNRC is loaning the counties these engines,” added Pyrah. “They are owned by DNRC, but the counties get to use and take care of them.

Sheridan Fire Warden Curtis Petrik said he is thankful to have the new engines provided by the DNRC’s County Cooperative Fire Program and knows how beneficial they will be to the communities.

“These new engines are very valuable tools for our fire protection,” said Petrick. “A lot of times, we station them out in the country where other wildland firefighting resources are not close, and they (engine operators) will have a fire knocked down before other resources can get there.”

The new engines are equipped with pump packages developed and assembled by the DNRC Equipment Development Center (EDC) in Missoula, Mont. The upgraded technology and increased carrying capacity of the new engines improves the engines’ firefighting capabilities, said Todd Klemann, EDC Manager.

“The new engines allow for rapid, more aggressive initial attack, keeping fires smaller, limiting firefighter exposure on larger fires and saving taxpayer dollars,” explained Klemann. “The program allows smaller departments with very limited budgets to have new, reliable firefighting equipment, hopefully making the community a little safer.

“They have 500 gallons of water, which is more than twice the amount of the older vehicles – they had only 200-gallon water tanks,” Klemann added. “They are on brand new F-550 chassis rather than old converted military chassis we used in the past. The new chassis are more reliable and with the added water capacity, allow the fire departments to help their neighboring departments where they weren’t able with the older equipment.”

The engines delivered to Bainville, Dogmar and Scobey are only three of 31 engines that will hit the road this month to be delivered across Montana. Since 2007, the Montana Legislature has been appropriating tax dollars to fund the replacement of older fire engines for volunteer departments participating in the DNRC County Cooperative Fire Program.