Fall River Mistake Places Fire Retardant Under Scrutiny

August 26, 2007 By: Marshall Cutchin

A federal judge in Montana is forcing the U.S. Forest Service to accelerate its study of a fire retardant commonly dropped from planes to fight forest fires. His demand comes after 18 months of delay on the part of the agency, which was asked to study the chemical after it dropped a thousand pounds of the retardant in Oregon’s Fall River in 2002. “[Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Mark] Rey defended the agency’s use of the retardant, which contains ammonium phosphate, as a necessary tool in fighting wildfires. But he acknowledged that some endangered fish have been killed as a result of its use.” Keith Chu in the Bend, Oregon Bulletin.