Wildfire Risk Assessment and Preparation
The Mount Pleasant Fire Department recognized there were several areas in Town that presented a unique challenge for fire protection. Those areas are identified as Wildland/Urban Interface areas, where the urban spread of new construction blends into a forested or wooded area. In 2002, a concerted effort was made to enhance the fire departments ability to respond to a wild fire.
A twenty member wildland firefighting team was created that would augment the structural fire response for the Town. The wildland team members are trained in wildfire suppression utilizing strategies and tactics that are recognized by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group based in Boise, Idaho. In addition to the skills that are used in wildland firefighting, members must pass an arduous physical agility test each year in order to retain their wildland firefighting qualifications.
Each wildland team member is issued a set of personal protective equipment that includes a helmet, eye and hand protection, shirt, pants, boots, backpack and fire shelter that are designed for wildland firefighting. A four wheel drive Ford F250, designated as Brush 505, is equipped with hand tools, a forestry skid unit and medical equipment and is assigned to Fire Station 5 on Dunes West Blvd.
The effort of providing wildfire protection for the Town of Mount Pleasant grew beyond the town limits. Members of our wildland firefighting team have been on wildfire detail assignments to California, Washington, Texas, Georgia and North Carolina assisting other agencies with fire suppression. The Town of Mount Pleasant has partnered with several forest service agencies where sharing of resources, knowledge and experience has been beneficial to everyone involved.