As Rockies Burn, Debate Over Fire Retardant Toxicity Flares

"CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Forest Service officials insist firefighting won't be hindered by new rules meant to prevent millions of gallons of retardant dropped onto scorched landscapes each year from poisoning streams and killing fish and plants."

"The agency rules that resulted from a lawsuit require drops to come no closer than 300 feet from streams and lakes except when human safety is at risk, adding a new concern for the tanker plane pilots who barnstorm low over treacherous terrain to spread the fire retardant.

The substance consisting primarily of ammonium phosphate also can't be dropped in areas with endangered or threatened plants."

Mead Gruver reports for the Associated Press June 22, 2012.

Source: AP, 06/22/2012