The Newport Beach Fire Department has introduced a new fire engine with improved off-road capabilities designed to battle wildland fires. The new apparatus was showcased to the community on Saturday, June 4 at Newport Coast Fire Station 8, where the engine will be housed.
The wildland fire engine will be primarily utilized for the protection of the Newport Coast area and deployed to assist neighboring agencies as needed.
“This specialized piece of equipment will improve our wildland firefighting capabilities by allowing our firefighters to navigate challenging terrain and off-road areas that are inaccessible to standard engines,” said Fire Chief Jeff Boyles.
However, Boyles noted, it does not replace the need for strong prevention efforts to reduce and mitigate the ongoing threat of urban wildfires.
“We start with educating homeowners on fuel reduction and how to protect their properties, and we will use code enforcement as necessary. Everyone has a role to play in keeping our communities safe,” stated Boyle.
Built by Pierce Manufacturing, the NBFD’s new engine has a shorter wheelbase and four-wheel drive capabilities to allow for better maneuverability, off-road versatility, and higher ground clearance. The engine can pump water while moving, allowing for rapid water application in more remote areas. Similar to larger engines, it carries 500 gallons of water, hose, ladders, and other firefighting equipment.
The City set out to design and purchase the engine in 2019, but with COVID-related supply chain issues, construction took nearly two years. NBFD crews are undergoing additional training before the new engine is placed into service.