Sunday, June 29, 2014

8 Mile Fire: airdrops of flame retardant that is can be toxic to water, wildlife and the environment

The eastern edge of the 8 Mile Fire is on steep mountain areas a few miles from several homes that were built in the forest-urban interface-the area that firefighters call the 'stupid zone' because it is at risk from the natural cycle of wildfires that has occurred long before man arrive.
As useful as this fire retardant is in keeping the fire from spreading across where it has been dropped, it is an environmental pollutant that has killed fish and other species.
And article about the debate over even the effectiveness of this flame retardant 'slurry' adds: "These compounds are also used in agricultural fertilizers. That, according to several researchers, is precisely the problem: When dumped into a wilderness area, these fertilizers stimulate the growth of certain weedy, fast-growing plants that outcompete slower-growing plant species, some of which are rare or endangered. Additionally, if these compounds find their way into a stream or lake, the fertilizers can kill off fish and other aquatic species, causing a harmful algal bloom. These events reduce the amount of oxygen in a body of water and encourage the growth of toxic algae."
Fortunately there are few streams in this area but there have been Federally Threatened Mexican Spotted Owls documented not far away. SeEtta