Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Informed. Empowered. Sustained by you. Support NHPR this election season and become a sustaining member today.

N.H. Acquires Surplus Military Trucks To Help Towns Fight Wildfires

military surplus forestry vehicles for firefighting
NH Bureau of Forest Protection
The state acquired these former military cargo trucks and four others to retrofit as high-capacity water carriers for local firefighting.

The state has acquired six former military trucks from a federal government surplus program to assist local fire departments in fighting wildfires.

New Hampshire sees dozens of these fires a year, and forest managers say that risk is increasing with recreation and the short-term droughts of climate change.

The new 5- and 2.5-ton cargo trucks have so far been loaned to Londonderry, Pembroke, Bartlett, Temple and Loudon. They’ll be retrofitted to carry up to 1,000 gallons of water for firefighting – as much as 10 times the capacity that town equipment typically has.

The trucks are also better suited to handle the rugged terrain that crews sometimes encounter when fighting fires in remote or mountainous areas, according to the state Bureau of Forest Protection.

Bureau chief Steve Sherman said in a press release that the loaner trucks “will go a long way toward helping reduce potential wildfire damage in our state.”

The loan comes at no cost from the government’s defense surplus program, saving more than $1 million, and is the largest such acquisition the bureau has ever made — they typically take only one or two trucks a year, according to a spokesperson.

The state and towns can keep the trucks indefinitely as long as they're properly inspected and maintained.

Get NHPR's reporting about politics, the pandemic, and other top stories in your inbox — sign up for our newsletter (it's free!) today.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.