CHUGWATER – Platte County just received a new fire engine to add to the fleet compliments of the Bureau of Land Management Wyoming (BLM).
Several members of the BLM office in Cheyenne along with local firefighters and elected officials met at the Chugwater Fire Hall last week for the transfer of the keys.
The 2008 truck comes from Roswell, N.M. When it came up to be replaced, the BLM jumped at the chance to send it to Platte County.
“We have just two fire stations servicing ten counties – just in the high plains area,” relayed BLM High Plains Fire Management Office Kirk Strom. “We are very rarely the first to arrive to the fires and we are dependent on our cooperators to take the initial response. We are trying to help them help us. Platte County has always been a reliable and responsive partner.”
The Rural Fire Readiness program allows the BLM to supply modern firefighting equipment available to rural departments that help fight fires in the county. The type-4 engine has a large water reservoir and high clearance making it ideal for the remote, rural land the Chugwater Fire Department covers and protects. It has been serviced to guarantee it is ready to jump into action when needed.
Chugwater Fire Chief, Tim Ash, is pleased to the new addition to the current four truck fleet.
“We take in parts of three counties – Goshen, Laramie and Platte. We run a lot of medical calls and extrications on the interstate,” explained Ash. “This is a nice truck. I think we can put her to use and do a lot of good. It will take a while to learn how to use everything, but we’ll get there.”
Volunteer firefighter Aaron Clark was present to get a look at the new truck.
“We’ve got some really good firefighters in Platte County. They are well trained and know what they’re doing,” Clark said with pride. “It’s encouraging that the federal agencies realize that there are 8,000 acres of BLM land that we help protect. We need to modernize the whole fleet.”
In 2018, the BLM Wyoming responded to 330 wildfires, which burned 272,547 acres in Wyoming. The BLM accepts applications for a variety of equipment including supplies and communication equipment. The BLM also assisted with the Britania Wildfire that ravaged our county last year.
“Wildfires don’t know or care where the boundaries are,” said BLM State Director Mary Jo Rugwell. “We’re glad to help our partners in fighting fires in the state.”