Aircraft, How does aerial fire retardant work?

Phos-Chek is a material that contains ammonium phosphate. It is a kind of fertilizer that has a very unique impact on flames. These are dropped, in what is called a slurry of material, along with the emulsifiers that will make sure that it is sticky enough to adhere to surfaces. Doing so makes it a very effective retardant, and there is often a coloring agent, usually a red or pink color, that can be seen distinctly. That allows the people on the ground to see where it is, and avoid those areas as they are making their lines and fighting the fire from the ground. And must be all perfectly checked and fixed wing firefighting aircraft as required before getting on operations.

How Does It Actually Work?

It works because it is able to diminish the interaction between the oxygen in the atmosphere and the fire itself. Fire is only possible when there is fuel, oxygen, and heat. This material can reduce the amount of heat that is in the vicinity of the fire, and by removing oxygen from the equation, it can help put the fire out. The problem with these retardants, even though ammonium phosphate is very useful, there is only so much that can be put into these large planes that dropped the material. It requires multiple drops to even affect small areas, and therefore it must be strategically placed to create lines of their own, at the same time putting out fires upon which it will fall.

Is This The Best Solution For Aerial Attacks On Fires?

The other possible solution is to drop water on the fires. This can be very effective as well. However, the consistency of the fire retardants tends to be much more effective, especially because of how it is made and its effect on the fire itself. Water can evaporate, whereas this material will stay, and that can prevent further burning of the materials. Therefore, perhaps a combination of both of these materials would provide the best resources for combating fires, assuming that enough aerial craft can be dispatched to areas where the fires are burning.

Three Ways That Fire Retardants Can Be Used To Put Out Fires

There are several ways that this type of material can be beneficial in putting out fires. The first is simply landing on the fires and putting them out. Second, it provides a line of defense for fires that may begin to emerge from different directions. They will be stopped by these long lines of retardant that will be spread out. Finally, the fire retardant can free up manpower on the ground that would otherwise have to be dispatched to areas to build lines. By allowing these men and women to do their job in different locations, it can expedite the speed at which a fire can be contained and eventually extinguished.

Final Thoughts On Aerial Fire Retardant

Although the use of ammonium phosphate is very effective, there may be different ways to make it more effective. By increasing the amount of fertilizer that is in the slurry of material, it can help to put out the fires at a much more rapid pace. Finally, science may develop more useful components that are also chemically based in the future. It provides baseline for how we can more effectively control force fires and put them out in a shorter period of time.

The use of aerial fire retardant can be very beneficial when it comes to both large and small fires. This material is designed to extinguish flames, and also provide lines of defense should the fire begin to reemerge later on. Finally, aerial retardant is much more effective at putting out fires than simply dropping water, due to its ability to remain. For all of these reasons, aircraft that are used to put out force fires should always have an ample supply of this chemically based material that is so effective at putting out forced fires in every state.

Author: Chris Greenwood

Chris is the owner of the Greenwood Group, a Hubzone approved business, which specializes in leasing aircraft to local, state and federal government for a variety of purposes.