Air tanker base personnel say the 11-year average for retardant usage is 611,130 gallons. The base hasn’t reached the one-million mark since 2007. The retardant is used for both BLM and USFS fires.
In 2006, the biggest year in the past 11 years, 1,191,655 gallons were pumped and this year already surpasses that with 1.2 million gallons.
“We’ve had big wildfire seasons in the past, but this is the first time we’ve reached the one-million gallon milestone this early in the season, said Leo Cromwell with the Boise Air Tanker Base. “In August 2007 we pumped 668,000 gallons compared to the same time this year of more than1.2 million gallons and the season isn’t over yet.”
Here are some statistics relating to retardant drops on the Boise National Forest:
· More than 245,000 gallons dropped on the Trinity Ridge Fire near Featherville and Pine in an aggressive initial attack effort and to check the fires spread into Featherville.
· More than 95,000 gallons dropped on the Springs Fire near Banks focusing on life and property protection.
· Total number of gallons dropped on Boise National Forest fires this year is more than 364,334.