This is why you don’t want to be under a retardant drop

If that video does not convince you — last year a firefighter from Utah who was working on a fire in California was killed when a retardant drop uprooted an 87-foot tall tree that fell on him.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

9 thoughts on “This is why you don’t want to be under a retardant drop”

  1. I whole heartily agree we need to get out of the way of any retardant drop. Retardant drops are dangerous and deadly. That said application of retardant at that low an elevation is way outside the way it is supposed to be applied. First being that low is dangerous for the pilot and anyone or anything on the ground. Then it’s a waste retardant, it makes it ineffective and wasteful. If a pilot came over my line and put that down they should be asked to do better and stop putting people at such risk. Let’s show people how it should be done and give people a good vision/slide of what is right, along with this is what happens if it goes wrong.

  2. Watching the full video, great drop, excellent/quality video, eye-opening for even us old firefighters who’ve been dropped-on, and/or had their apparatus flooded with retardant; a ‘positive-directed’ critique, as I see missed opportunities: I would have liked to see some 200-pound ‘firefighter’ dummies, lying flat and standing, in the drop zone, along with tools that would be sent flying. That’s even more effective, to new and seasoned first responders. Slo-mo of the effects was noticeably absent. Slo-mo would better illustrate that the crushed vehicle was actually struck by just the edge of the total load, so imagine how much worse that could be.

  3. Ground resources remember to provide feedback to Air Attack or air tanker (or helicopter) pilot on drop height and location. Critical because often times they can’t tell if the drop was too low. Also, know your coverage levels! If it’s too much or not enough, let them know to adjust the coverage level (for retardant).

  4. Having seen the results up close of CL215 Salvo drop of 1200 gallons trust me you don’t want to anywhere near this.Its not macho to be covered in mud it’s foolish…

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