Summit County Emergency Blog

Activated during disasters and emergencies to provide critical public information. Administered by the Summit County Office of Emergency Management.

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Jun 14

Background Info on Fire Retardant

Posted on June 14, 2018 at 8:46 AM by Julie Sutor

We've received some questions about fire retardant, so here's some background info:


Phos-Chek fire retardants are being used at the Buffalo Mountain Fire. This product is primarily made up of water and then fertilizing compounds such as ammonium phosphate.  There are also small amounts of gum thickeners, flow conditioners and coloring agents.  The products have been evaluated and qualified by the U.S. Forest Service. According to printed materials from the manufacturer:

  • "The PHOS_CHEK retardants have been approved in all instances where testing was conducted.” 
  • “The components in PHOS-CHEK retardants are safe for land application when applied in the recommended manner as a fire retardant.” 
  • Because the products act like a fertilizer, they may cause plants to turn brown and wither, but after rain, the plants should return to normal.
  • Finally, they state that their retardants are “…unlikely to pose a serious threat to aquatic life.”