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