What is the red colour substance dropped from aircraft during bush fires?

Slurry, a mixture of mostly water and fertilizer designed to protect trees and other flammable material from flames.

What the air tankers and helicopters are dumping is a fire retardant known as slurry, a red coloured mixture of mostly water and fertilizer designed to protect trees and other flammable material from flames. The coating clings to vegetation and insulates it from the approaching inferno; the fertilizer helps the damaged areas regrow in the wake of the blaze. The powdery concoction is a key ingredient of a multi-pronged firefighting strategy; after the air drop, bulldozers and ground crews move in to cut a fire break designed to halt the advancing flames.

Slurry is dyed bright red to aid in visibility and help tanker pilots drop a seamless line of retardant. "Basically, they're trying to box in the fire."

Another advantage of slurry is that unlike water, fertilizer doesn't evaporate. It offers still another bonus for farmers, who have requested that unused slurry be dropped onto their fields as aircraft make their way home.

Contact Survival Solutions for information on all fire safety procedures on 1300 040 362

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