As the news broadcasts the most devastating fires in California’s history, current fire vendors or those hoping to become vendors may wonder how they can get involved. 

Wildland fire contracts are awarded at the local, regional, state, and federal levels however getting involved once fire season is underway can be a challenge.

The Forest Service, CalFire, and other agencies activate contracts held by pre-approved vendors such as Incident Blanket Purchase Agreements (I-BPAs) or those on the Hired Equipment List. You can get on these lists by registering in VIPR as these opportunities open up on a regular 5 year schedule depending on your service and equipment.

However, in circumstances where these resources have been exhausted, an incident-only Emergency Equipment Rental Agreement (EERA) or a generic solicitation may be necessary, which is where a qualified vendor may get involved outside of the 5-year rotating solicitation plan.

Before you pursue a contract…

Make sure you meet the minimum requirements. For example:

  • does your equipment meet the minimum apparatus requirements as mandated by the National Wildfire Coordination Group (NWCG)?
  • Has your equipment been inspected by the authorized third party?
  • Have you passed a Work Capacity Test? 

Conquering these minimum requirements may render you ready for an EERA or generic solicitation opportunity that arises.  

Get the latest updates on incidents in California: 

If you are unprepared for the current fire season, now is the time to start preparing for the next. 

Getting Started With the US Forest Service

  • Get registered on the Systems for Award Management (SAM) or make sure your registration is active
  • Review the National Solicitation Plan for I-BPA’s to prepare for upcoming solicitations to learn more about the scope of work and requirements
  • Opportunities are posted on however VIPR is the system used for bid submittal and awards. A keyword search on of “VIPR I-BPA” will bring up opportunities posted to date, however, please note all solicitations may not be posted yet as different regions may post at different times.
  • Virtual Incident Procurement (VIPR): Get registered as a vendor on the VIPR Vendor Application webpage
  • Generic Solicitations: Please note Contracting Officers may issue various local equipment and services procurements not listed on the National Solicitation Plan for I-BPAs.

Purchasing Forecast

The Forest Service is scheduled to solicit the following in response to wildland firefighting in 2024:

  • Bus, Crew Carrier
  • Heavy Equipment (Dozer, Excavator, tractor Plow)
  • Faller and Faller Module
  • Fuel Tender
  • Mechanic with Service Truck
  • Mobile Laundry
  • Vehicle with Driver Medical Services

*This forecast is limited to USFS projected needs. Other agencies are also procuring other goods and services. Click here for the full USFS forecast through 2032.


Visit CalRecycle Contracts webpage for current solicitations and list serve sign up.

CalRecycle Contracts

More Resources

Sep 2020: Fire Response & Recovery for Government Contractors
Watch Now  –  View Slides

View Presentation Slides Here

Incident Procurement brochure
VIPR Advertisement Schedule

If you have more questions, please contact us at or (707) 267 – 7561