Forest fires are a natural occurrence that can lead to devastating results if left unchecked. Whether you are a park ranger or a firefighter, you must wear appropriate clothing before heading into a forest to put out a fire.
In this guide, you will learn how well fire-resistant clothing can fare in a forest fire as well as the different types what their purposes are. With this in mind, here are a few things you should know about the relationship between forest fires and fire-resistant apparel.
Different Types of Personal Protective Equipment
Before heading to put out a forest fire, firefighters must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) so that they don’t expose themselves to dangerous situations. The main components of a firefighter’s outfit will be flame-resistant clothing, fire-resistant vests, adequate footwear, a fire shelter, safety goggles, leather gloves, and a hard hat. All of these things help firefighters stay safe in a hazardous environment.
Fire-Resistant vs. Fire-Retardant Clothing
There is an important distinction between fire-resistant clothing and fire-retardant clothing. Fire-resistant clothing comes from materials that can minimize or prevent burns. However, you can still get burned if you are exposed to fire for long enough; as long as you are careful, however, fire-resistant clothing will offer you protection when you come near flames.
Flame-retardant clothing undergoes a chemical treatment that makes it more resistant to flames. This type of clothing is often more affordable than fire-resistant clothes, but it loses effectiveness the more you wash it.
Other Accessories for Fighting Forest Fires
In addition to wearing fire-resistant clothing, forest firefighters will wear safety boots to help them keep balance on uneven terrain and prevent blisters. When the flames are too great to bear, firefighters will use a fire shelter to protect themselves. This type of accessory essentially serves as a full-body cover-up that a firefighter will deploy when contact with flames is inevitable.
Overall, how well fire-resistant clothing can fare in a forest fire depends on the severity of the fire and what other equipment the firefighter has at their disposal. If you are relying on fire-resistant clothing on its own, it might not offer enough protection to handle a tough job. Nonetheless, when you use it in conjunction with other accessories, it’s a highly reliable way to protect yourself from burns.