Why do wildland firefighters wear yellow?


Since the early 1960s, the US Forest Service has gone through one colour change and several shirt iterations to improve firefighter safety.

Did the users know the yellow shirts worn in wildland firefighting today were originally orange? These orange shirts were often mistaken for fire by aircrafts carrying fire retardants, and due to the confusion, they often sprayed down the fire crews holding the line. A “Single Engine Airtanker (SEAT) can deliver up to 800 gallons of fire retardant to support firefighters on the ground”. (US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service).

Flame-resistant material

The bright-yellow shirt worn is designed for use by wildland firefighters as a safety garment. The brush shirts are made of flame-resistant material designed for high visibility and protection from fire. When exposed to flames, the shirt is designed to burn rather than melt by forming a char that protects the skin.

Firefighting efforts in the wildland require specialized training, techniques, and equipment. These trained crews suppress flames, extinguish areas of heat to protect wildlife and work in smoky areas. Visibility on the fireline is critical for firefighter safety, and the color yellow was proven in studies to be more visible in dark and smoky environments.

True North Brush Shirt

True North Brush Shirts meets industry standards, NFPA 1977 certifications, and definitions. The wildland shirts are made of Nomex and Tecasafe, which are inherently flame-resistant, lightweight, breathable fabric for optimal moisture management.

True North offer both women’s and men’s brush shirts designed to fit the body while providing durability and superior product fit. The clothing is made to withstand extreme work environments while maintaining its durability lasting through multiple fire seasons


Media contact

Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, International Fire Buyer
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922
Email: editor@firebuyer.com

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