Kent-based Puget Sound Fire has added two Type 3 wildland fire engines to help combat the growing number of brush fires in its wide coverage area.
The fire engines are four-wheel drive to make driving over rough terrains easier and have pump and roll capabilities, according to Puget Sound Fire The engines will carry 500 gallons of water and a compliment of firefighting hoses, ladders and other tools.
“These engines are more versatile than our standard fire engines when responding to brush fires and wildland urban interface fires,” according to a Puget Sound Fire statement.
The engines will be used to assist with structure protection and with the “pump and roll” capabilities can extinguish brush fires while slowly driving down the road.
Puget Sound Fire’s coverage area includes the cities of Covington, Kent, Maple Valley, SeaTac, Tukwila and King County Fire Districts 37 and 43.
In 2022, Puget Sound Fire responded to 238 brush fires, according to an Aug. 8 email from spokesperson Pat Pawlak.
From Jan. 1 to Aug. 8 in 2o23, the agency has responded to 271 brush fires compared to 84 during the same period in 2022.
The 2022 brush fire numbers didn’t include Tukwila calls, as the city of Tukwila’s contract with Puget Sound Fire didn’t start until this year. But the number remains a significant increase in brush fires, Pawlak said.
Each engine cost $420,000, Pawlak said. Puget Sound Fire paid for one of the engines and King County Fire District 43 paid for the second one. The engines were made by Idaho-based Boise Mobile Equipment.
Pawlak said one engine will be assigned to a Maple Valley fire station and the other one will most likely be based at Station 78 in Covington.
Firefighters and mechanics are going through training on the vehicles, so a start date for the engines has yet to be determined, Pawlak said.