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Fire retardant could be ‘game-changer’ in fighting wildfires

Retardant plane at work on the Grandview Fire in July 2021
C.O. Fire Management Service
Retardant plane at work on the Grandview Fire in July 2021

By KEITH RIDLER
Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. Forest Service officials on Tuesday approved a long-lasting fire retardant that could significantly aid in fighting increasingly destructive wildfires.

The Forest Service approved Perimeter Solutions’ fire retardant that’s intended to be used as a preventative measure and can last for months

It’s similar to the red-dyed retardant dropped from aircraft, but is clear and lasts much longer.

“The real game-changer here is once you treat it, you can forget it,” said Edward Goldberg, chief executive officer of St. Louis, Missouri-based Perimeter Solutions. “It’s there for the whole year.”

The company said its primary use will be by industrial customers such as utility companies and railroads, but can also be used at residential and commercial properties.

The product could reduce the number of wildfires, freeing up firefighters who have been in short supply in recent years.

Goldberg said the product will likely be most effective in the drier climate of the U.S. West, and could be applied in the spring to offer fire protection throughout the wildfire season.

He said traditional retardant is effective until there’s rain, but the new product will remain effective even after a couple inches of rain.

The Associated Press

Comments

5 Comments

  1. Hopefully they make this all out of “Plant Based” chemicals. That way people will belive it is perfectly safe. Of course crude oil is techinally “Plant Based” but who wants to split hairs?

  2. Hopefully they use “plant based” chemicals with rainbow sprinkles and smells like purple sherbet afterwords. Who cares what they use if the fire goes out.

  3. The real problem is in the lack of truth by the USFS! For those of us whom love to harvest mushrooms, wild berries, etc. this product last up to a year and is NOT safe for human consumption and may be impossible to wash off. Please see the Safety Data Sheet: https://www.plantfoodco.com/media/2013/10-34-0-sds.pdf It appears they will use this as another excuse to close our forests to the public and still get paid for making bad decisions!

    1. Yes remember this?
      The herbicide Perspective is behind the die-off. An ODOT contractor in Jefferson County applied it for years to control weeds and minimize fire risk along Highway 20. Trees absorbed the chemical aminocyclopyrachlor through their roots and began to slowly die.

      The Forest Service says it needs to log as soon as possible along a 12-mile stretch of scenic road corridor through the Deschutes National Forest. Some of the trees to come down are hundreds of years old.

      Credit to OPB.

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