Perimeter Solutions, makers of PHOS-CHEK long-term fire retardant and other high-quality firefighting products, has announced that its ground-based long-term fire retardant PHOS-CHEK FORTIFY has been added to the USDA Forest Service (USFS) Qualified Products List (QPL), making it the first and only highly durable fire retardant that has been approved by USDA Forest Service for preventative application on US federal lands.
PHOS-CHEK FORTIFY incorporates breakthrough VISMOTECH technology, a hydrogel platform developed by Stanford University and MIT before Perimeter Solutions acquired the global exclusive rights to the technology. The PHOS-CHEK FORTIFY formulation builds on PHOS-CHEK’s almost 60 years of proven retardant effectiveness and is formulated with patented polymer technology to provide enhanced durability to weathering as well as adherence to vegetation. It can be applied on flammable vegetation and cellulosic material early in the fire season before a wildfire approaches and provides ongoing protection, remaining effective until a significant rain event of 1in (25mm) or more. Unlike retardant dropped from aircraft, which is coloured to help pilots track where it is dropped during active wildfires, the durable PHOS-CHEK FORTIFY fire retardant is uncoloured and precision applied from the ground.
Products included on the QPL are approved after a rigorous testing and evaluation period. These include testing to ensure low levels of mammalian and aquatic toxicity, as well as evaluations of impact on human health and the environment. The retardant is also put through corrosion testing and measured for retardant efficacy. PHOS-CHEK FORTIFY has met all the criteria to be listed on the QPL, and it now can be used on federal and most state forest lands in the United States. The listing should also enable application of FORTIFY globally, as other countries, including Canada and Australia, have previously approved QPL-listed long-term fire retardants to be used.
‘Having a product added to the USDA Forest Service QPL is a years-long endeavour, and I appreciate the prior dedication and commitment, as well as the work of the team at Perimeter Solutions to get this across the finish line,’ says Edward Goldberg, CEO of Perimeter Solutions. ‘PHOS-CHEK has achieved many firsts. It was the first phosphate-based, long-term fire retardant included on the QPL in 1963, and I am proud of the fact that PHOS-CHEK FORTIFY is now the first highly durable, preventative long-term retardant approved for use.’
PHOS-CHEK FORTIFY was developed in 2018, and over the past three years, utilities, railroads, insurance companies, homeowners and other industries have widely adopted it as a solution to prevent wildfire ignitions and proactively protect their property from wildfires. With a mix ratio of 5.0:1, it is one of the most effective pre-treatment products on the QPL, and its listing provides a pathway for environmental and legal approval that is needed for a broad and rapid adoption of the preventative and proactive wildfire solution by government agencies, military, utilities, and state and federal transportation agencies.
In a single year, there were 37 fire starts along a four-mile stretch on California’s Route 118 in what is known as Rocky Peak. PHOS-CHEK FORTIFY was applied to the same area prior to the following wildfire season, and not one fire was recorded that summer. The retardant was also applied along the roadway and under utility lines in Wildcat Canyon located in San Diego County in California, where a wildfire ignition was recorded. What was projected to be a half-acre to one-acre fire was reduced in size by 99% due to the proactive application of PHOS-CHEK FORTIFY.
Use of PHOS-CHEK FORTIFY as a preventative solution is an environmentally responsible choice, as it eliminates the need to kill the vegetation with dangerous herbicides, clear vegetation to bare mineral soil, or cut down significant forest assets to prevent fire starts. Leaving vegetation intact may lead to greater microbial health in the soil, can help to maintain both plant and animal habitats, and may help reduce the risk for erosion and nutrient runoff.
‘With PHOS-CHEK FORTIFY added to the QPL, there is now a preventative long-term fire retardant that is expected to be rapidly adopted for use ahead of the 2022 wildfire season. Preventative use of the long-term retardant can now officially be part of a cohesive strategy for helping to prevent wildfire ignitions, and we expect it to become the standard for utility companies and transportation agencies, railroads, forestry owners, and even insurance companies. With preventative use of long-term fire retardant now approved for use on federal lands preventatively, we believe there is nothing that will hold back commercial and government organizations in taking a more proactive approach to fighting wildfires,’ says Wes Bolsen, Director of Wildfire Prevention and Protection at Perimeter Solutions.
For more information on Perimeter Solutions, visit www.perimeter-solutions.com