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2020 Information

NWCG changes standards for crews and dozers

The NWCG establishes standards for the capabilities of firefighting aircraft, crews, and equipment. For example, a Type 1 Engine must carry 1,200 feet of 2.5″ hose and have a pump capability of 1,000 gallons per minute, while a Type 6 Engine needs to have 300 feet of 1.5″ hose and a 50 GPM pump.

There were a handful of changes made to the standards that were published in 2014.

The number of personnel on a Type 1 Crew was increased from 18 to 20, to 18 to 22. There were a couple of new position qualification requirements for leadership on crews. The new standard:

Permanent supervision:
Superintendent: TFLD, ICT4, FIRB
Asst. Supt.: STCR or TFLD and CRWB and ICT4
3 Squad Leaders: CRWB and ICT5
2 Senior Firefighters: FFT1

In 2014 Type 1 Crews only had to have three “agency-qualified” sawyers. Now there must be four certified Intermediate Fallers (FAL2) and 50 percent of the crew needs to be qualified as Basic Faller (FAL3).

The number of programmable radios on a Type 1 Crew was increased from five to eight.

There were major changes for dozers. The horsepower was increased for all types, a fourth type was added, and minimum base weights were established.

New requirements dozers
New requirements for dozers, December, 2019. NWCG.

New EXCAVATOR Typing for the Northern Rockies


(b)  Type

Minimum Horsepower

Minimum Operating Weight



15,000 lbs



20,000 lbs



30,000 lbs



50,000 lbs

Excavator typing is determined by both weight and horsepower criteria.  If a machine has horsepower for a particular type but lacks the operating weight, it will default to the lower type (i.e. if a machine has a horsepower of 165 and operating weight of 48,000 pounds, it would be typed as a Type 2 machine due to operating weight.)  Equipment will not be awarded under more than one type.  Horsepower and weight data is based on manufacturer’s published specifications.

——————————————————————————————————————————-  2019 Information


We are in an era of innovation by equipment manufacturers and logging industries. We now have a variety of machine types, models and capabilities based on hydraulics, horsepower, tread and track design, working attachments and operator skills. Machine evolution has exceeded our knowledge base in wildland fire management by decades.  Crawler tractors, or dozers, were first introduced on fires in the 1940s….(Read more)


Jim Steele of Jocko Consulting wrote this article on Mechanized Operations.

Jim Steele owns Jocko Consulting, Arlee, Montana. He is a consulting forester and wildland firefighter with many qualifications from almost 50 years of service, including Safety Officer and Heavy Equipment Technical Specialist (HETS).