Wildfire Equipment Research & Development

Roscommon Equipment Center


Project 72, Oshkosh R11 Conversion

This report demonstrates one method of converting an Oshkosh R11 Jet Refueling tanker into a water tender for wildland fire use.

Project 71, CL-215 Maintenance Platform

This is an REC project that demonstrates a way to create a modular type engine maintenance platform for a CL-215 Super Scooper aircraft.

Project 70, Radiant Heat Blocking Curtains for Crawler Tractor Plow Units

This report demonstrates one method for short term blocking of radiant heat for heavy equipment operators.

Project 69, Utility Terrain Vehicle Specifications

REC has assembled specifications for many of the currently available models of utility terrain vehicles (UTV's).  This report is intended to help agencies select the UTV that best fits their needs.

Project 68, Constructing Fire Break Using Compressed Air

This report researches the option of using compressed air to produce a fire break in hardwood leaf litter fuel type.  It compares the effectiveness of using compressed air to what is commonly used in many areas, the backpack leaf blower.

Project 67, Portable Fire Fighting Unit for Grapple Skidders 

This is a new look at an area REC has worked in before (refer to Project 26, Portable Fire Fighting Unit for Skidders).  Since that report was published, the trend in logging operations seems to be toward grapple-type skidders.  This report documents a water tank design specifically for grapple skidders.

Project 66, Flatbed & Water Tank Design for M1008 and Commercial Pickups

This is a REC conversion plan for the M1008 CUCV (GM 5/4-ton pickup).  The REC design removes the cargo box, replacing it with a steel flatbed.  A slip-on style tank and pump unit can be added.  The flatbed is a good compromise for off-road work in the woods. Much of this information will be transferable to other pickup-style fire units of similar weight.  The details include the flatbed design, purchasing specifications for the polypropylene water tank, and photos depicting one configuration for installing apparatus.

Project 65, Wildfire Transport Units for Grapple Skidders

This web-based report contains information about transport units used by various wildland fire fighting agencies across the country.  Use the links and information in the report introduction to submit your equipment data for incorporation into the report.

Project 63, 6x6 Wildland Fire Engines

This is a total revamp of REC's resources about converting a military 6x6 to wildfire engine use.  It includes all 2.5 and 5-Ton models, information about load capacity, and designs for water tanks, metal cab top, brush protection, in-the-cab controlled telescoping emergency light mast and other accessories.  NOTE:  Project 63 replaces Projects 22, 25, and 39.

Project 62, Converting the M-1009 Blazer to Cab and Cargo Box Style

Project 62 shows a way to modify the widely available military M-1009 Blazers into a vehicle with a cargo box. The plans remove the rear mounted cap, modify it, and add a rear panel and window. The amount of water capacity will be limited to about 60 gallons, depending on the weight of other added components.  This still makes it useful for grass fire duty and patrol units. REC has two other publications that relate to the M-1009.  Newsnote #10 tells how to convert the M-1009 24-volt electric system to 12-volt.  Newsnote #12 discusses potential tank capacity and weight considerations for the M-1009.

Project 61, Slip-On Tank Units

This project Includes a discussion of important issues for those buying or constructing slip-on tanks for mounting in pick-up truck units.  Tank material selection, tank construction issues, determination of load capacity, and securing the tank are some of the topics discussed.  An interactive calculator  (Detailed Calculator - Pickup Truck Slip On Units) to pre-determine the weight of the completed slip-on unit is part of the project. 

Project 61-B, Indiana's 90 and 150 Gallon Aluminum Slip-on Tank Units

This report features two designs for aluminum construction slip-on tanks.  The 90 gallon tank was developed for use in mid-size (i.e., GM "S" series) pick-up trucks . The 150 gallon unit fits the standard size pick-ups. This is solely a design report that consists of construction plans for these water tanks.

Project 60, M548/M1015 Track Vehicle

An evaluation and design project for the unarmored version of the U.S. Military Bradley Track Vehicles. The M548 is a large vehicle with an overall dimension of about 105 inches wide by 227 inches long. Expect a final weight of about 20,000-23,000 pounds after modification. Despite its relatively narrow track, we found that it worked well in marshes that had good root structure.  

Project 60A, M548 Cab Design

This design shows how to replace the steel cab on the canvas model M548.

Project 60B, M548 Bumper and Limb Risers

This is a design for installing a bumper and limb risers on the M548.

Project 60C, M548 12 V Alternator System

This design shows one way to add a separate 12 volt DC electric system to the M548.

Project 60D, 800 Gallon Water Tank & Mounting for M548

This designs show how to install an 800 gallon water tank on the M548.

Project 59, Expansion Ring Extractor

This is a design for a device that extracts the expansion rings from 1.5 inch linen or synthetic forestry hose. The device is designed to be used with a hose ring expander machine. The report shows a design for use with Canadian style quarter turn couplings. An adapter for use with threaded couplings is also discussed.

Project 58, Low Cost Remote Controlled Turret 

Revised with a Nozzle Pattern Control Option, this report includes drawings that can be used to produce or contract the production of a 1 inch remote turret. The turret features 360 degree rotation and elevation control. The estimated cost of materials and labor is less than $1,000. In March 2000, REC released the revised version of this report that includes a remote nozzle pattern control. This remote nozzle pattern control can be added to the original version and adds about $250, including labor.

Project 57, Collapsible Fire Rake

REC developed a durable, light-weight collapsible fire rake. The design is detailed in this report. The rake is available for purchase by qualified fire agencies through Army Property as national stock number (NSN) 4210-01-387-1392.

Project 56A, Hummer & HMMWV Series Chassis

This report is an evaluation of the Hummer & HMMWV series chassis used in wildfire control.  REC spent several years evaluating both commercial and U.S. Military versions of AM General’s Hummer. The report details the findings and discusses important points about modifying them for wildland fire use.  Included are discussions about water tank placement and capacity for various versions.

Project 56B, Hard Cab Design for HMMWV

A report for those obtaining FEPP/FFP or surplus Military HMMWV units. It details the design for adding a hard cab to the units that come with canvas tops.

Project 56C, HMMWV 12-Volt Alternator Bracket

A design report that shows a system for adding a 12-volt alternator to a military HMMWV.  It includes tips on making an alternator bracket, and lists part numbers for available pulley and bracket parts.  In this system, the 24-volt electric system remains.  The 12-volt system is utilized for running fire appliances such as radios, pump starters, and reel motors

Project 55, Fire Control Use of All Terrain Vehicles

This report discusses some safety aspects of all terrain vehicles, especially as they relate to potential use in wildfire control.  Carrying loads and pulling trailers are a couple of the topics presented. The report also contains recommendations useful for writing specifications.

Project 54, Small Agricultural Tractors for Wildfire Use

An analysis of utilizing smaller 4-wheel drive agricultural tractors in fire control.

Project 53A, M561 Gamma Goat Vehicle

This report is an analysis of the Gamma Goat vehicle used in wildfire control.  The Gamma Goat was a 6-wheel drive 5/4-ton U.S. Military vehicle. It consisted of a cab and trailer portions.

Project 53B, Hard Cab and Tank Designs for the Gamma Goat M561

This report details the hard cab design and slip-on tank size and placement for the M561. It also shows a brush guarding scheme.  See Project 53A for REC's other Gamma-Goat report.

Project 51, Wisconsin Foam Module (Not Available)

This project details the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ original compressed air foam system (CAFS). Set up as its own compressor and pump module, it could be used to retrofit fire engines with CAFS or incorporated into new engine designs.

Project 50, Aqua-Duk Pump

The Aqua-Duk is a 12 volt DC motor driven roller pump is designed for use on pickup trucks with small slip-on tanks. This, plus its relatively low cost make Aqua-Duk unique. The report provides test data about the electrical needs and pumping capabilities of the system.

Project 48, Vehicles for Fire Management

This report is a truck chassis primer aimed at wildland fire agencies. It is meant to help familiarize the reader with the definitions used by truck manufacturers. It discusses specification development and has a chart to estimate potential water capacity of a chassis based on the Gross Vehicle Weight rating. The appendices contain a national summary of truck cab and chassis needs done in 1988 and a federal performance standard for wildland engine cab and chassis was developed between the NWCG and GSA in 1990.

Project 47, Michigan 1-Ton Commercial 4x4 (Not Available)

This project report is no longer available.  Project 61 is the replacement.

Project 46, Seat Coverings for Forest Fire Tractors

The report discusses flammability of crawler tractor vinyl seat coverings. It also discusses flame resistant materials for making new seat covers.

Project 45, Wisconsin 3-Ton & 5-Ton Truck, Tank, & Pump System (Not Available)

This project report is no longer available.

Project 44, Michigan Large Skidder

This project documents a specialized tank and plow system installed on a forestry skidder.

Project 43, Wisconsin Pickup Truck, Tank, & Pump System (Not Available)

This project report is no longer available.

Project 42, Michigan 5-Ton

5-Ton 6x6 Retardant Engine with On-Demand System:  This report shows a method of mixing phosphate based long-term fire retardant in a specially designed wildland fire engine tank.  The system utilized a segmented tank with compartments for 1200 gallons of water, 160 gallons of liquid concentrate retardant, and a 125 gallon mixing chamber.  An eductor was used to mix concentrate and water at the desired mix ratio.

Project 41A, Ground Application Retardant

Analysis of foams:  This report is an analysis of liquid and powder-type long-term ammonia phosphate products that were evaluated for use by ground-based wildland fire engines. The report includes information on application and mix rates, results of controlled burning tests, and field trials.   It also discusses ground-based retardant delivery systems.

Project 41B, Long & Short Term Retardant

This report summarizes tests which compared Class A foams, long-term ammonia phosphate-based fire retardant, and short-term gel retardant. The work was done in cooperation with the Forestry Canada's Petawawa National Forestry Institute.

Project 40, Tanker Handbook

Military 880 Series 1-1/4 Ton, 4x4 Cargo Truck (Dodge W-200):  This project, updated in January 1992, features the slip-on tank design for the U.S. Military M-880.  The project also includes drawings for producing a heavy duty bumper, grill, and cab protection.  Additionally, the publication has a reprint of the military M-880 Operator’s Manual.  REC Newsnote #5 (Weights and Loading of the M-880 Series Vehicles) is also available as an addendum in the 1992 printing.

Project 39, Tanker Handbook (Not Available)

This project was updated and replaced by Project 63.  The report covered the Military 5-Ton 6x6, 1,500 gallon, low profile tanker.

Project 38, Wisconsin Tractor/Tanker Unit (Not Available)

This project report is no longer available.

Project 37, USFS 1000 Gallon 6x6 Engine

The Huron Manistee National Forest purchased a new 2-1/2 Ton 6x6 chassis from the U.S. Department of Army in 1978. REC produced a 1000 gallon engine on this chassis based on the plans found in REC Project 22. This is a first attempt to purchase a new military unit from the Department of Defense for fire control purposes and the report documents some of this process.

Project 36, Minnesota Walnut Seeder/Husker (Not Available)

This report is no longer available.  This report consisted of plans and specifications of the Minnesota Walnut Seeder/Husker.

Project 35, 6x6 Automatic Transmission Repair Manual

This project report is a dated list of repair manuals and part sources for U.S. Military vehicles. 

Project 34, Tanker Handbook, Military 3/4 Ton, 4x4 Cargo Truck

This project contains drawings for producing a 150 gallon slip-on tank unit and brush armor for the U.S. Military M-37 3/4 Ton 4x4 truck. These vehicles are no longer available through FEPP/FFP.

Project 33, Tanker Handbook, Military 1-1/4 Ton, 4x4 Cargo Truck

This project contains drawings for producing a 200 gallon slip-on tank unit and brush armor for the U.S. Military M-715 5/4 Ton 4x4 truck.  It also includes a 200 gallon unitized body water tank design.  These vehicles are no longer available through FEPP/FFP.

Project 29, Michigan Fireline Plow Design

This large format report (11-inch x 17-inch) provides complete drawings for fabricating the Michigan Fireline Plow. The Michigan fireline plow is a double bottom, fixed moldboard, hitch-mounted plow designed for smaller crawler tractors such as a John Deere 350 and 450 series.

Project 28, Hand-Held Infra-Red Spotter

This is a dated report from 1979 that evaluates infra-red detectors for use by fire personnel in mop-up situations.

Project 27, Catalytic Converter Study

This is a dated report that evaluates information about catalytic converters of automobile exhaust systems and the potential for causing wildfires.

Project 26, Portable Fire Fighting Unit for Skidders

This report contains drawings for the Maine Forest Service portable skidder water tank units. These units are designed to hold just under 200 gallons of water and a portable pump. They can be picked up by cable-type skidders fitting against the logging arch, effectively converting a logging skidder to a wildfire suppression unit.

Project 25, Protective Cabs for 6x6 Trucks – GMC & REO (Not Available)

This project was updated and replaced by Project 63.

Project 23, Improved Flashlight

A dated report that looked at improvements for personal headlamps.

Project 22, 1000 Gallon 6x6 Tanker Handbook (Not Available)

This project was updated and replaced by Project 63.

Project 21, Metric Conversion Study

A dated project resulting from the attempt in the 1970’s for U.S. conversion to the metric system. It focused on aids for learning or helping with metric conversion.

Project 20, Trailer to Transport JD350 or Equal

A 1983 report that discusses important considerations when selecting a trailer.  It includes tips on how to select a proper truck and trailer combination.

Project 19, Evaluation of Michigan Truck Fire Plow & Floating Hitch

The project report’s intent was to help interested fire agencies determine the value of plowing equipment for wheeled vehicles.

Project 18, Evaluation of Michigan Crawler Fire Plow & Floating Hitch

This report looks at the efficiency of the fixed moldboard-type crawler tractor plows equipped with hitches that float up and down with the terrain.

Project 17, Power Blowers as Fireline Building Tools

This report looks at backpack-style power blowers or leaf blowers used in fire control. This equipment has been used successfully in hardwood hill country such as the Appalachian Mountains and Ozarks. Topics include use and tactics, ways to improve the ergonomics of power blowers, safety topics, and important features for fire control that should be considered when developing purchasing specifications.

Project 15, Truck Specifications

A short dated report that lists potential sources for getting specification data.

Project 13, Evaluation of Bombardier J-5 w/Accessories

The J-5 was a tracked unit used by several fire organizations for work in areas that require low ground pressure. The J-5 is no longer produced.

Project 11, Rustproofing Treatment for Steel Water Tanks

This report lists various coatings that are used to reduce corrosion on steel water tanks.

Project 8, Schematics of New Jersey Brush Armoring

This project details New Jersey’s method of brush armoring 1970’s vintage Dodge Power Wagons (W-300). While the vehicle is no longer available, the concepts for the brush armoring may be useful.

Project 7, High Density Foam

This is a 1970’s study which looked at high expansion of foam for forest fire control.

Project 5, Rapid Water Evaluation

This report looked at polymer friction reducing chemicals and their advantages and disadvantages in water pumping situations.

Project 4, Jeep Tanker Handbook

Shows the design of pumping system and brush armor for the U.S. Military M-38 A-1 1/4-Ton 4x4 Jeep. This information may be used for the more modern CJ versions of the Jeep.

Project 2, Wiring Conversions on Military Vehicles

This report discusses ways to provide 12 volt electrical power needed for any fire accessories on a 24 volt military vehicle. Several alternatives are presented including a complete exchange of electrical system from 24 to 12 volt, and installation of a separate 12 volt electrical system.  See also Newsnote #9, Adding a 12 Volt DC Charging Circuit.

Project 1A, Air Cooled Safety Helmets (Not Available)

This report is no longer available.

Unimog – Model MB 4/94

This is an equipment evaluation report  completed in 1979 that evaluated an early Unimog model for forest fire control. It included water handling abilities and it's use as a plowing machine. Unimog is an off road wheeled tractor produced by Mercedes Benz.

Skidders in Forest Fire Control

This is a report of an evaluation  completed on the use of modified forestry skidders for fire control.  It includes evaluation for fireline construction by plowing, and water tank design and use.