The state of Michigan is building a new facility to store wildfire fighting equipment.
The DNR is currently in the process of constructing a new building for the Forest Fire Experiment Station in Roscommon.
Kirk Bradley, Unit Leader for the Forest Fire Experiment Station, said the new building will be better equipped to accommodate large vehicles and incorporate new technology to help fight wildfires.
He said the current station was established as a blacksmith shop in 1929, so there is not enough room to move equipment in and out.
“It should make us more efficient as far as the products we build for the state to use,” Bradley said. “We will try to make sure that the people in the field have the best equipment available, so that they can do their job safely and efficiently.”
The improved facility is unique, Bradley said, because it will be able to cater to other states and federal wildfire agencies, as well.
“We share a lot of the designs for the equipment that we make,” he said. “Many states rely on rural fire departments and they are not usually funded for wildfire suppression, as well as, structural protection.”
Therefore, Bradley says, with the station’s improvements, there will be enough space to help those communities put together new equipment.
In addition, the station will be using “green” construction techniques and materials to make it more environmentally efficient.
The station is expected to be completed by spring 2014.