JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. - Florida Forest Service rangers are expecting a rise in raging wildfires this spring.
They use different tools, including construction dozers to contain the flames.
"This is our number one - for wildland fires. This is what we use," said Jackson County Forest Service Ranger Don Showalter.
"It's going to remove that vegetation that's burning, to bear mineral soil so that the fire's not able to move any further," said Wildfire Mitigation Specialist for the Chipola District, Hannah Bowers.
But it's not your typical dozer.
These have special safety features, including protective cages, automatic plow-release levers, and installed water protection systems.
"We're also equipped with asset tracking, and what that allows is for the supervisor to have a laptop and his computer, and actually tracks us in real time where we're at on that fire," said Showalter.
Some of the safety features also includes operators communicating from tractor to tractor using a radio.
The Chipola District includes Jackson, Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Walton, and Washington Counties and all of them have at least four dozers.
"They're strategically placed where we have our most wildfire activity in each district, in each county," said Bowers.
Those dozers are outfitted with the safety features in Alabama.
They are then sent from Lake City to the all of the counties in the state of Florida.
"With these safety features these dozers have, it keeps not only the firefighters safe, but it also keeps the equipment safe," said Bowers.
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