Fire-fighting pumper trucks are necessary for the safe conduct of prescribed fires. The appropriate size depends on the application. Pumper units consist of a water tank, pump, gasoline or diesel engine, and a retractable hose 50 to 100 feet in length. Trucks should be 4-wheel drive for rangeland burning. Slip-on units (100 gallons) are suitable for ¾-ton pickups. A 1-ton diesel truck with a self-contained 300-gallon unit is a popular size for research and commercial burning. Trucks should have racks for drip torches, fuel cans, hand tools, and radio and cell phone communication. Pumper units can be fabricated in a shop from components purchased separately or purchased as fully equipped, self-contained units to be attached to a truck frame.
Truck and pump engines should be kept in good condition to insure that they will operate when needed, and the pumping system must be protected in freezing weather. Fire trucks are placed at strategic locations during burning so they can quickly reach an escaped fire.