Wildfire

Crews use fire retardant to slow down Whittier Fire's spread

Crews use retardant to slow down...

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - A portable phos-chek dipping station was set up on Cathedral Oaks Road near Highway 154 Tuesday afternoon to help firefighters suppress the Whittier Fire.

The wildfire's spread is at 11,281 acres and crews have 48% of it contained. 

The next few days will be very important for fire suppression operations. 

"Weather has everything to do with firefighting. The warmer it is and the dryer it is, the more likely the fire is going to get up and move and become more uncontrollable," said Lee Beyer, a public information officer for U.S. Forest Service. 

Crews are trying to get as much done on the ground and in the air when it comes to battling this wildfire. 

"This topography is incredibly steep and that makes it really dangerous for our firefighters out there. By working up on the flatter ridges or areas where it's better for us to work, we can work there and get the work done safely," said Beyer. 

Arthur Hunot, the owner and creator of Hunot Retardant Company, supervised the dipping station operation Tuesday. He tells reporter Vicky Nguyen that he started the business in 1970. He and his team has helped bring phos-chek to the front lines of many wildfires over the years. Hunot says the fire retardant will lose it's bright red color in two weeks and blend into dirt. In this operation, the phos-check was made by Israel Chemicals Ltd. 


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