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UCCE Sonoma County

Fire Retardant After the Fire

From Press Democrat, 11/3/2017

DO'S

  • Phos-Chek is designed to wash off in light rain, which is good news for many property owners this week. If there is any remaining, it can be rinsed off with running water. Wet the retardant down, wash it away, wait 15 minutes and repeat, and it should come off.
  • If Phos-Chek sticks to surfaces like a roof, wood or sidewalk, a soft bristle brush, or a biodegradable cleaner can be used to help speed its removal.
  • To remove it from your skin, wash with gentle soap and water.

If an animal appears sick from drinking from puddles or standing water, owners should seek immediate medical attention and advise the veterinarian that the animal may have ingested a detergent or fertilizer-based product. Up in the sky, a small band of firefighters fought to slow the wildfires’ advance and aid the crews on the ground.

DON’TS

  • Don’t use a high pressure power-washer, which can push the product further into surfaces like stucco or concrete. If it’s deeply embedded, it may not come out.
  • Don’t use hard brushes or stiff bristles to scrub it off, for the same reason.
  • Don’t use bleach or harsh chemicals to clean decks, outdoor furniture or homes. Harmful fumes can result.
  • Don’t leave Phos-Chek standing in puddles or pools, where pets or wildlife might drink it. After the rains, be particularly vigilant. Fill with sand, soil or other absorbent material that can be removed if necessary.

Fire Chemical Clean-up
pdf, US Forest Service, 7/2007. 

Studies

Cascading effects of fire retardant on plant–microbe interactions, community composition, and invasion, A Marshall et al, Ecological Society of America, 6/2016.

Effects of Wildfire Suppression Chemicals on People & the Environment - A Review, K.D. Kalabokidis, University of the Aegean, Department of Geography, Greece. 9/2000.

Red Phos-Check fire retardant coats street and homes in Windsor Photo by Alvin Jornada Press Democrat 7-2017

 
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Page Last Updated: November 9, 2017

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