USDA FOREST SERVICE
Heat and time are the two elements against which every fire fighter must struggle. Heat, because it promotes fire growth, personal injury and propety damage. Time, because the longer a fire rages out of control, the more difficult it becomes to suppress until it depletes all available fuel. The technology needed is a product that is more effective than straight water to rapidly cool the ambient temperature of the fire environment and the fuel surfaces. WATER IS inexpensive and usually readily available. A lot of research has gone into the use of water in fire fighting. Research on new ways of delivering water to the fire, new ways of delivering various hose stream patterns to the fire, water misting to reduce radiant heat and the use of water as a delivery system for additives, such as foams and surfactants. All of the research has been conducted to create a more efficient use of water as a fire suppressant.
THE PROBLEM WITH PUTTING THE WET STUFF ON THE RED STUFF IS A SUFFICIENT WATER SOURCE MUST BE AVAILABLE TO GIVE FLOW RATES ADEQUATE TO THE SIZE AND SCOPE OF THE FIRE. Water evaporates in direct proportion to the size and temperature of the fire.Water must be continuously applied to effectively knock the fire down and reduce the temperature sufficiently to prevent rekindle. WATER ITSELF CAUSES PROPERTY DAMAGE and becomes contaminated and carries the contamination away from the fire site or into the soil and aquifers around the fire site.