You got to see a plane dropping a fire
retardant. Pretty cool. To retard something means
to slow down or stop something. Fire retardants
are used to smother fires. Fire needs three
things: oxygen, fuel (like wood), and heat.
You can stop fires by removing any one of these
three things.Firefighters can use water to cool a
fire. The problem is that the water runs off the
fuel and evaporates quickly in the heat of the
fire.Fire retardants that they drop from planes
contain things that make them sticky so that that
they coat the fuel. This keeps the fuel cooler and
away from the oxygen so that it doesn't burn
They color the fire retardant red so
that the air crews can tell where they have
already dropped the retardant.
firefighters actually start fires in front of a
fire. These are called "backfires." They only do
this when they can control the backfires. When
they are done, they have a big burned patch
between the fire and the place they want to
protect. Why do you think this works?
aren't all bad. Some plants need fire in order to
grow. Fires also keep dead wood from piling up
and return nutrients to the soil.Once a forest or
grassland has had a fire, it is usually a long
time before it has another one. Can you figure
out why?Thanks for asking.