Prescribed Burning is different from Wildland Firefighting but the need for PPE should not be overlooked. The Southern Fire Exchange strongly recommends that all prescribed fire practitioners use and maintain PPE according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group training as found in the S-130 Firefighter Training Course. (NFES 1510 publication)
The following is a brief overview from S-130 Unit 1 Firefighter Preparedness which covers in detail all PPE requirements.
- The safety gear issued is designed to help protect the firefighter when it is properly used and maintained. Proper use of PPE in conjunction with skill and common sense can prevent personal injuries.
- Flame-resistant clothing – Nomex™ (a trade name for arimid fiber clothing) is flame resistant but not fireproof. It offers no insulation to protect against burns.
- Both shirts and coveralls should be kept buttoned and tucked in to protect the exposed body parts. Clothing should be unbuttoned or loosened only on the supervisor’s advice.
- Never begin an operational period with clothing or PPE that has gas, oil, or other flammable material on it.
Trousers (Flame resistant)
- Wear cuffless, loose fitting trousers, preferably of snag-proof material. Do not wear synthetic materials. Wear trousers over boot tops to keep out embers.
- Do not cut the legs off because doing so will cause fraying, which is dangerous around open flame.
- Wear a wide, high quality leather belt, if possible.
Shirts (Flame resistant)
- Wear long sleeved shirt that will secure at the collar and wrists for maximum protection. Keep shirt tucked in.
- Do not paint names or decals on flame resistant clothing. This may reduce the flame resistant capabilities of the fabric.
You may order a copy of the training manual through the NWCG. For more information about how to order course materials download the publications catalog here. The S130 course materials can be found on page 10.