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Interagency Wildland Fire Chemicals Policy and Guidance

Retardant drop over Cove Creek Fire

Aerially applied fire retardant and other fire chemicals reduces wildfire intensity and rate of spread, decreasing risks to firefighters, enabling them to construct fireline safely. In many situations, the use of retardant in concert with firefighters on the ground allows the Forest Service to safely meet its responsibilities to protect landscapes, resources, and people.

Nationwide Aerial Application of Fire Retardant on National Forest System Lands

In 2011 the FS signed a Record of Decision implementing direction for the Nationwide Aerial Application of Fire Retardant. In 2020 the FS reviewed new information, published in the 2020 Supplemental Information Report. That report recommended modification of the proposed action that was selected in 2011 and implemented in 2012, and preparation of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. The draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement has been completed and is available below for review.

2022 Aerial Fire Retardant Draft SEIS

Notice of Availability of Draft SEIS

2011 Record of Decision

2011 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)


Additional Project Documents


Intrusion Maps (NOAA Fisheries Biological Assessment Appendix C and FWS Biological Assessment Appendix B)

Supplemental Information Report 2020

2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Opinion  (Pages 1-395) (Pages 396-789)


Interagency Policy

Interagency Policy for Aerial and Ground Delivery of Wildland Fire Chemicals Near Waterways and Other Avoidance Areas

Aerial Fire Retardant Avoidance Map

U.S. Forest Service Aerial Fire Retardant Avoidance Areas Map Viewer

Instructions for Completing Avoidance Area Maps (AFRAA) a SharePoint site.

USFS Aerial Fire Retardant Implementation Guide

Interagency Wildland Fire Chemicals Reporting Tools and Forms

The Retardant Intrusion Reporting Tool is now ready to use. To request access to the database, send an email to Ann Suter and Laura Conway. After you receive your invitation email, follow the instructions in the Guest Invitation Instruction document.

Guest Invitation Instructions for Retardant Intrusion Database

Retardant Intrusion Database User Guide

Spill Calculator

  • It is located on the Wildland Fire Chemicals and Aerial Delivery Systems website under Resources (dropdown menu in the upper right corner). This file is relatively large and compressed into a zip file. Once downloaded the application will be available with a separate PDF instruction manual. When opening for first-time, the program may take a minute or two to load.  


PDF Forms (for field use)

Aerial Fire Retardant Use on National Forest System Lands

Previous years – see Appendix C, Final Environmental Impact Statement


  • Webinar: Aerial Fire Retardant, The Forest Service and You: Fire Operations Resource Advisors and Managing for ESA Species - May 2017


Ferguson Fire helicopter dropping retardant
Ferguson Fire helicopter dropping retardant