The Importance of Quality FR Clothing in Wildfires

When the only thing that stands between you and raging wildfires is quality wildland firefighter clothing, you need to make sure you’re covered with the best protection available. Run-of-the-mill flame-resistant (FR) apparel just doesn’t cut it when your workwear can be the difference between life or death (or avoiding serious burns). Choosing top-tier FR clothing is essential as a wildland firefighter, but whittling down your options is challenging if you don’t fully understand what’s available to you -- or how to differentiate between poor, fair, and high-quality FR apparel.

We’ll talk about why premium FR clothing is so important for wildland firefighting, how it can help you mitigate risk and increase safety on the job, and the features or characteristics the best FR clothing offers.

Quality FR Clothing Standards for Wildland Firefighters

What are the factors that determine the quality of a garment built to withstand the conditions a wildlife firefighter faces? High-performance FR clothing must meet industry standards proving it can withstand heat, flames, and heavy-duty wear. In Canada, they are the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) 155.22 standards. In the U.S., there are National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1977 standards.

When a garment or fabric meets CGSB 155.22 or NFPA 1977 standards for wildland firefighting, it has been tested in conditions similar to flash fires and shown to hold up to intense radiant heat and vertical flammability. The Heat Attenuation Factor (HAF) determines how much protection the garment offers skin in terms of coverage. A wildland firefighter clothing garment with 80% HAF leaves 20% of the skin exposed to potential damage from radiant heat.

These strict standards dictate everything from the fabrics and materials used in the final garments to third-party certification, labeling, and design requirements. For your protection, don't wear any FR garment in wildland firefighting work that doesn’t meet these important criteria. That means closely checking labels, buying from a trusted and established company, and carefully monitoring the wear and tear of your FR workwear to retire any well-worn, ripped, damaged, or pieces that have been laundered more than 25 times.

Finding Quality FR Wildland Firefighter Clothing

So, what is the best material to wear in a fire or wildland firefighting scenario? Materials like Nomex® III with a special “wet-spinning” manufacturing process are heat, abrasion, and chemical-resistant to be durable enough for wildland firefighting. You’ll also see materials like polymer-induced 88% cotton/12% high-tenacity nylon blends that are slightly heavier and less comfortable, but still effective.

Opting for a company like MWG Apparel that makes premium FR accessories and apparel for all industries, including firefighting, is the easiest way to ensure what you’re buying has been tested and shown to keep you safe on the job. Based in Canada, MWG Apparel closely follows CGSB 155.22 and NFPA 1977 standards for every step of the design and manufacturing process, third-party certification, and labeling. We go above and beyond to make sure you’re outfitted in top-tier firefighting gear that’s proven to be effective when it counts.

When you shop for wildland firefighting clothing through MWG Apparel, there’s no guesswork or piecing together workwear with garments from different companies. We don’t just design and manufacture quality FR clothing for wildland firefighters. We also develop proprietary fabrics, work to create the most lightweight and effective garments for your comfort, and ensure compliance with NFPA 1977:2022 and CGSB 155.22:2014 with all fabrics, trims, and final garments certified by Underwriters Laboratory (you’ll see the UL certification mark on all our gear). From FR thread to high-visibility retroreflective striping, we’ve got you covered from stitch to seam.

Since we let the most current CGSB and NFPA standards dictate the design and manufacturing of our apparel, you won’t find yourself in underperforming FR clothing or out of compliance when you shop MWG Apparel. We take safety seriously and are proud to outfit wildland firefighters with the best-quality FR gear around. Keeping you protected and ensuring you’re comfortable on the job with durable FR clothing that’s lightweight, comfortable, and designed to move in is our mission at MWG Apparel. Exceptional FR clothing starts with a company that cares. At MWG Apparel, safety is of utmost importance. Shop our quality men's and women's wildland fire FR clothing now.
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