Fire retardant is crucial to battling wildfires - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Fire retardant is crucial to battling wildfires

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There are many key components to a wildfire, firefighters being one of them. Al Nash is from the Bureau of Land Management and said fire retardant is more effective than water when it comes to fighting wildfires. He said there are a limited number of established tanker bases across the country and one of those bases resides right here in Billings.

     Fire retardant is made up of water, fertilizer, and coloring. Nash said from Thursday alone, there were 29 retardant loads that were taken care of from the Billings airport base. He also said in just one day over 75 thousand gallons of retardant was loaded on aircraft that was dropped on wildfires across this region.

"Aircraft use of fire retardant is a very important to for wildland firefighters, but let me stress it's fire retardant," Nash said. "It's not a fire extinguisher. What this does is they use it to slow the advance of a fire."

For those people in the Billings area, Nash said there is an area by the airport where you can park and watch aircraft activity at any time. This includes tanker activity.

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