U.S. Officials Approve Long-Lasting Fire Retardant

FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, file photo, flames burn up a giant tree as part of the Windy Fire in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest, Calif. California firefighters battled fast-growing forest fires threatening giant sequoias and small communities in the Sierra Nevada on Monday, Sept. 27, and worked to fully surround a suspected arson wildfire that destroyed homes the week before. More than 2,000 firefighters were on the lines of the Windy Fire burning on the Tule River Indian Reservation and in Sequoia National Forest, including Giant Sequoia National Monument. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

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.

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