California Engineers Develop Wildfire-Preventing Gel Technology
Stanford University engineers worked with California state and local agencies to develop a long-lasting, fire-retarding material that is environmentally friendly. The researchers say that if the material is used on high-risk areas, it could dramatically reduce the number of wildfires that occur each year. The most widely used commercial fire-retardant formulations currently contain ammonium phosphate and its derivatives as the active fire-retarding component. These formulations only hold retardants on vegetation for short periods of time, so they can’t be used preventively. The Stanford technology is a cellulose-based, gel-like fluid that stays on target vegetation through rain, wind, and other environmental exposure.