What is fire retardant dropped from aircraft?
It is called PHOS-CHEK Fortify. Researchers at Stanford and several other schools helped reformulate the red light retardant into a stickier, more durable clear version. “It’s only red because we add a dye so the riders can see it. The new fire retardant adheres better to vegetation and has this durability.
What do red powder planes drop on fires?
What’s that red stuff that falls from the sky when a forest fire breaks out? It is a flame retardant that fire crews use to control and contain wildfires. They don’t drop it directly on the flames; rather, firefighters anticipate where the fire might spread and drop the retarder in front of the flames.
How much does a 747 fireproof chute cost?
In 2020, federal and state agencies discarded more than 56 million gallons (211,983,060 liters) of retardant, which costs an average of $3.10 per gallon, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
How dangerous is flame retardant?
The flame retardant is generally safe — the Forest Service said its chemical toxicity risk is minor for most animals, and it predicted no risk to accidentally splashed people — but the volume that comes out of an airplane is very heavy. Fire retardant is gooey — sticky, even, Turner said.
How much does a drop of fire retardant cost?
The cost of each drop is $65,000 plus approximately $22,000 per hour in flight time. Next are the Heavy Air Tankers which can carry around 3,000 gallons of retardant. These planes cost around $12,000 per drop plus flight time.
Why are fire retardants bad for you?
Studies in lab animals and humans have linked the most studied flame retardants, called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, to thyroid disruption, memory and learning problems, mental developmental delay and physical, lower IQ, advanced puberty and reduced fertility.
How long does the fire retardant last?
Today, about three-quarters of the company’s business is the Phos-Chek app, which costs about $500 per property and lasts six to eight months, he said.
What kind of plane drops red fire retardant?
It’s a sight now synonymous with California fire season: a tanker plane flies over vegetation and drops a stream of red. But what exactly is this stuff? It is flame retardant, used in preemptive strikes to prevent flames from spreading.
What are the different types of fire retardants?
Early fire retardants were mixtures of water and thickening agents, and later they included borates and ammonium phosphates. Typically, fire retardants are dropped from aircraft or applied by ground crews around the edges of a wildfire in an effort to contain its spread.
What happens when you drop fire retardant on a fire?
They don’t drop it directly on the flames; rather, firefighters anticipate where the fire might spread and drop the retarder in front of the flames. It doesn’t actually put out fires, but it does make it harder for trees and leaves to burn and gives firefighters time to clear brush and vegetation that could cause a fire to spread.
What type of aircraft is used to fight the fire?
Types of aircraft used include fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. Smokejumpers and rappellers are also classified as aerial firefighters, being delivered by parachute from a variety of fixed-wing aircraft or rappelling from helicopters. Chemicals used to fight fires may include water, water enhancers, or specially formulated flame retardants.