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Published November 25th, 2020
To checkmate the 2021 fire season, ConFire beefs up apparatus fleet
Two more of these Type III wildland engines are on their way to the district. Photo provided

The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District board of directors Nov. 10 unanimously approved a $1.6 million purchase of emergency firefighting apparatus, adding extra power to the district fleet to tackle an expected challenging 2021 fire season.
"This equipment is purposed for our high-risk wildfire areas, like in northern Lafayette," district spokesman Steve Hill said.
Fire Chief Lewis Broschard explained the specific uses for each of the five new emergency response vehicles.
The district's first ever emergency crew transport vehicle will be used to support the Fire Control Worker program, allowing for the transport of an entire 12-person crew to an incident instead of relying on multiple smaller vehicles.
The apparatus purchase includes two Type III wildland fire engines, a typical wildland engine used by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and often seen on the highways running between incidents.
Two Type V wildland engines are also coming to the district. "These are the smallest wildland fire engines available," Broschard said. "They are more nimble, they are easier to get around and they carry a little bit less water."
Once these new units arrive, the district apparatus fleet will include 14 Type III wildland engines and four Type V wildland engines.
Though the district had not appropriated funds for this major capital purchase, ConFire has the money available thanks to various budgeting adjustments. The district did not fill vacant positions, delayed promotions and postponed non-critical building maintenance projects. In addition, the district reduced planned expenditures in its non-capital equipment and supply budgets. Those savings will be used to fund the additional apparatus purchase.
"Overall, our objective is to ramp up our efforts to combat longer and more challenging fire seasons," the chief said.
As there is lag of up to one year for delivery of these vehicles, the district expects that the new apparatus should be ready for at least the second half of next year's fire season.

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