Firefighting chemicals: new weapons for the fire suppression crewAuthor(s): James B. Davis; Dean L. Dibble; Clinton B. Phillips
Source: Misc. Paper 57. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication (MISC)
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"We felt like witch doctors," was the complaint made by a foreman whose tanker crew had been selected to test the fire fighting qualities of "viscous water" (water containing a thickening agent). A few months later the same foreman, thoroughly familiar with the material, was convinced that under many conditions viscous water was superior to plain water in controlling forest fires. This change of opinion was the result of a three-part cooperative study conducted during the summer and fall of 1960 in California and Nevada.
Use of chemical additives for water in forest fire control is not a new idea. The U.S. Forest Service began testing such materials for fire suppression in 1931, and studies in the United States have been conducted periodically ever since (Barrett, 1931; Truax, 1939). Yet use of chemical additives on fires has been limited until recently, for several reasons: difficulty of handling with conventional pumping equipment, cost of the chemicals, logistics, and the fact that some fire fighters were looking for a panacea. Recently, higher values of forest resources and the demand to reduce fire losses have forced foresters to take a new look at chemicals.
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CitationDavis, James B.; Dibble, Dean L.; Phillips, Clinton B. 1961. Firefighting chemicals: new weapons for the fire suppression crew. Misc. Paper 57. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 27 p.
KeywordsFire prevention, Fire extinguishing agents
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