- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Department of Forestry is improving its ability to respond to wildfires thanks to upgrades to its firefighting equipment.

Officials say the agency added several new pieces of equipment to its suppression fleet. The equipment, including five new brush trucks and four new tractor plows, is valued at nearly $1.3 million.

The new brush trucks replace military-type Humvees that had been in service for more than 20 years. The new trucks have 300-gallon water tanks, larger capacity pumps, additional hose and improved emergency lighting along with the ability to transport up to five firefighters.

The new tractor plows are John Deere 550 bulldozers equipped with larger engines and a mounted fire plow. They have glass-enclosed cabs with air filtration systems that filter out smoke while battling fires.

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