5.2.3. Basic Wildfire Suppression Strategy and Tactics Copy

Jeff Co

Foam & Retardant

Wildland Fire Foam, (Class A)

Breaks down surface tension of water, allowing better penetration of moisture into forest fuels.
Increases water effectiveness by 3 to 10 times.
Varying levels of foam mixture produces “wet water” to stiff foam.
If thick foam is desired an aspirating nozzle is required.
Smothers fuels. Isolates fuels.
Insulates fuels.
Can be added to virtually all water delivery methods.


Avoid contact with eyes.
Avoid contact with skin, (wash off).
Avoid contact with leather boots.
Do not permit foam to enter watercourses.
Bleed-off lines should be well away from watercourses.
Flush system with clean water after foam use.

Fire Retardant, Long-Term

A mixture of water, clay, fertilizer, red dye, (iron oxide).
Has flame inhibiting properties that last even after the retardant dries out.
Most often delivered by fixed-wing Air Tankers as part of the initial attack on a wildfire.
Knocks fire down and “buys time” for ground personnel.
Can be used to build control lines, but these must eventually be secured by ground personnel.