BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. officials on Tuesday approved a long-lasting fire retardant that could significantly aid in fighting increasingly destructive wildfires.
The U.S. Forest Service approved Perimeter Solutions’ fire retardant that’s intended to be used as a preventative measure and can last for months
It’s similar to the red-dyed retardant dropped from aircraft, but is clear and lasts much longer.
“The real game-changer here is once you treat it, you can forget it,” said Edward Goldberg, chief executive officer of St. Louis, Missouri-based Perimeter Solutions. “It’s there for the whole year.”
The company said its primary use will be by industrial customers such as utility companies and railroads, but can also be used at residential and commercial properties.
The product could reduce the number of wildfires, freeing up firefighters that have been in short supply in recent years.
Goldberg said the product will likely be most effective in the drier climate of the U.S. West, and could be applied in the spring to offer fire protection throughout the wildfire season.
He said traditional retardant is effective until there’s rain, but the new product will remain effective even after a couple inches of rain.