Roanoke County gets new wildland firetruck

The truck is the first of its kind for the county

VINTON, Va. – When large fires, like the one on Catawba Mountain in 2018, break out, Roanoke County firefighters will now be able to fight them more effectively.

“With this truck, the biggest advantage that it has compared to the normal fire engine you would see on the street every day is its got a much shorter wheelbase, it sits a lot higher for ground clearance and it’s a four-wheel drive,” Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Chris Linkous said.

The truck holds 600 gallons of water and 25 gallons of foam.

Linkous said it will improve the county and the U.S. Forest Service’s ability to work together.

“This truck was actually designed and spec’d off of the U.S. Department of Forestry specifications," Linkous explained. "Somebody from the Department of Forestry, if they had to run this truck or use this truck, assist us on a call, it’s there exact same truck. It’s just a different color.”

The truck costs $260,000 and, to Linkous’s knowledge, is not something other departments in the area have.

The plan is to use for large wilderness fires.

Smaller fires, such as a 25 acre brush fire in a field, will be handled with the county’s other equipment.