Boys, Idaho – U.S. officials are trying new firefighters to buy millions of gallons from a supplier two decades later, but guards say the expensive strategy is hiring more firefighters for air strikes.
Forest fires have used more than 50 million gallons of fire for the first time in 2020, as more and more wildfires are raging in the West. Last year, more than 50 million gallons were used to fight the largest and longest-running wildfires in history in California and other states. Fire protection cost nearly $ 200 million during those two years.
For the past 10 years, the agency has used 30 million gallons a year.
“No two wildfires are the same, so it’s important for firefighters to have different equipment for different situations,” said the Forest Service. “Fire protection is simply one of these tools.”
The forest service tests, which began last summer, continue this summer with magnesium chloride-based forts.
Fortress argues that Perimeter Solutions is more efficient and environmentally friendly. That company is better at ammonium-phosphate-based reporters.
Fortress began in 2014 primarily to create a more environmentally friendly firefighting system for former wildlife firefighters. It has facilities in California, Montana and Wyoming and describes itself as the only alternative to fertilizer-based fire protection.
The company is led by CEO Bob Bernham, who started his career as a member of the Tropical Flight Team and eventually became a Type 1 commander, leading hundreds of firefighters to some of the country’s largest wildfires. He often called in airplanes to disperse Red Firefighters, a decision he said would come as a surprise now that he knew more about fertilizers and developed a new defense.
“This new fire protection is better,” he said. “The damage to our sensitive planet’s resources will be minimal, and there will be much better fire protection on Earth.”
The main ingredient in Fortress products is magnesium chloride from the Great Salt Lake in Utah, which the company says is more environmentally friendly and less greenhouse-gas-producing than mineral and phosphate processing. Forest Service tested the company’s FR-100 last summer, and said it will test the FR-200 version this summer.
Perimeter Solutions, which has tools and equipment in the West, has dominated the market for more than two decades, despite many name and ownership changes over the years. The company’s FOS Check LC-95A is the most widely used fire extinguisher in the world. The company is moving to a new retardant, Foss Check LCE20-Fx, which will be made from food grade inputs and will produce pure produce.
“We are confident that the products we make are the safest, most efficient and most environmentally friendly products,” said Edward Goldberg, CEO. We have spent decades collaborating with (forestry).
Phosphate is produced in many places. Goldberg said it will get phosphate locally, both in Idaho and internationally. He declined to elaborate, but said the company was not dependent on China or Ukraine and had replaced other suppliers with Russia and Belarus.
Forest Service says FR-200 tests this summer will be limited to single-engine air tanks flying from Ronan, Montana. That seems to be to keep the companies from falling behind.
Two conservation groups say both delays affect the environment, and that the agency should spend more on firefighters and more.
Andy Stahl, director of environmental services for forest service workers, and Timothy Ingalsbe, director general of the Department for Safety, Ethics and Ecology of Firefighters, are both ammonium-phosphate-based fertilizers that can basically grow invasive plants. And the lower basin may be responsible for some algae blossoms in lakes or reservoirs during bathing. Magnesium-chloride-based retardants are basically salt that inhibits plant growth and possibly harms endangered species.
Both are concerned about delays in accessing waterways and damage to aquatic species. Airplanes are usually limited to streams of up to 300 feet (90 m) for streams, but forest service allows drops in some cases, and sometimes by accident.
“Their concept is war, and when you are at war you are guaranteed harm,” she said. “It is a fire-industry complex. It’s growing. ”
Most Westerners are now in a state of drought. The National Enterprise Fire Center in Boys, Idaho, reports that more than 31,000 wildfires have burned 5,000 square miles so far this year. That’s better than the 10-year average, with 24,000 wildfires and 2,000 square miles burned.
Over the past 30 years, climate change has intensified in the Western world, and scientists have warned that it will get worse as the world warms up.
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