Safety tips on dealing with wildfire retardants

By The Canadian Press
August 16, 2017 - 6:40am

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — The BC Centre for Disease Control has issued safety information about two major fire retardants for people returning home after a wildfire who may find their homes or properties covered with the substance.

— A retardant produced in off-white and red colours is sprayed ahead of wildfires to protect homes and vegetation.

— Coloured retardants degrade in the sun and become fertilizer over times so garden produce that may have been sprayed will be safe but fruit and vegetables should be discarded if fire-retardant residue is visible.

— Avoid eye contact and wash hands when removing coloured fire retardant from structures.

— Gel retardants provide short-term fire protection and are used with water to protect structures.

— Gels are slippery and can irritate eyes. They should be washed off with a pressure washer.

— Do not eat garden produce coated with the gel fire retardant but gels and their residue are harmless if they are no longer visible.

The Canadian Press

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