June 14, 2024



In the Rural West, Some Residents Are Taking Firefighting Into Their Own Hands


October 30, 2021

PALISADES, Wash. — Molly Linville vividly remembers the “wall of flame” that tore through the grasslands of her 600-acre ranch during the Sutherland fire four years ago. Working quickly, she managed to guide her 125 cattle into the irrigated field surrounding her home three hours east of Seattle. After that day, Ms. Linville resolved she would never go through an experience like that again.

Ms. Linville is one of a growing number of Americans across the rural west who are taking fire management into their own hands: buying surplus fire trucks, construction rigs and converted military vehicles online to protect their homes and land. Some have maintained fire defenses for decades. Others were spurred by a close call with a recent wildfire.

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