Fire engines will have to have at least one firewoman on board in order to meet diversity guidelines, town hall leaders claim.
"And one female fire dog !"
The Local Government Association (LGA) has said that at at least 15 per cent of those in operational roles should be female.
That means they will fill one of the five or six places for crew on each engine.
The LGA said an increased number of firewomen is necessary "to meet the needs of local people".
But critics warned that political correctness was being put above the ability to save lives.
Susie Squire, of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "Introducing this sort of quota to the fire service is a big mistake.
"If ever there was a job that should be awarded on merit and physical fitness, it is that of a firefighter.
"This quota system will not only cost taxpayers money by introducing additional and unnecessary administration, but could risk the safety of all of us in the long run."
At present fewer than one in ten firefighters are female.