What Are the Different Types of Wildland Firefighter Gear?

Lori Kilchermann

There are several types of wildland firefighter gear, ranging from undergarments and gloves to fire suits. Hard hats, helmets and eye protection are all offered as wildland firefighter gear. Fire boots and fire tools are also manufactured by wildland firefighter gear outfitters. Backpacks, harnesses and other utility tools are also offered as components by firefighting supply providers.

Hard hats, gloves and eye protection are all standard wildland firefighting gear.
Hard hats, gloves and eye protection are all standard wildland firefighting gear.

Designed for the utmost in fire protection, wildland firefighter gear is manufactured of the highest quality materials. Heavy leather and man-made materials are used to construct wildland firefighter gear, such as boots and gloves. Undergarments are manufactured of the latest technological materials that provide both protection against heat and fire as well as comfort by wicking away moisture from the wearer. Brush shirts are manufactured of the highest quality, flame-proof material and are sewn together using a flame-resistant thread for added fire protection. Shirt padding parcels are also offered to ease the shoulders when wearing a loaded backpack or carrying heavy equipment into a fire scene in an over-the-shoulder type of carrying style.

Firefighters use a variety of tools when battling fires.
Firefighters use a variety of tools when battling fires.

Wildland firefighter coats and pants are manufactured from flame-resistant materials that are designed to char rather than flame and feed the fire. The garments manufactured and marketed as wildland firefighter gear are often adorned with reflective tape to help in making firefighters easy to see. The illuminating tape is designed to reflect in the flickering flames of a fire, as well as in the bright beam of a spot light. The garments are also manufactured in a bright and easy-to-see yellow/green color for the utmost in visibility both day and night. Offered in both two-piece as well as one-piece designs, wildland fire suits feature D-ring and hook-and-loop type enclosure systems to promote proper fit, sealing and protection from heat and flames.

Fleece type undergarments not only provide a fire-resistant layer of protection; the wildland firefighter garments also add in comfort and protection when worn as outergarments. The soft fleece material is designed to provide protection against heat and is made from components that will not melt, drip or flame up — even when coming into direct contact with fire and flame. Fleece gaiters can also be worn to provide protection against sparks and flames entering around the wearer's neckline. Other wildland firefighter gear, such as fire helmets and face shields, are worn to protect a firefighter from falling and windblown embers that could otherwise injure a firefighter's face, neck and head area.

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