A tool has been created to prevent forest fires. How does it work?

Last summer can be considered one of the mosthot in modern history. It is not surprising that this year large-scale fires were swaying in Russia and around the world, which destroyed a huge part of the forest. Sometimes it is not possible to extinguish such a strong fire for months and millions of rubles are spent on it - so why not firefighters cover the trees with fire-retardant agents? So the likelihood of fire would have decreased several times, but, unfortunately, existing fire gels today are quickly washed away by rain and lose their effectiveness. Recently, scientists from the US state of California solved this problem by developing a new composition that allows gels to stay on the surface of trees for more time.

In 2019, forest fires raged in Siberia and the Amazon

Fire extinguishing agents are usually sprayed.over the forests with planes. Their main components are natural combustion retardants such as boron and ammonium chloride, mixed with stabilizers, which make them last longer than usual. These products actively absorb moisture and prevent the fire from spreading throughout the tree, but in case of strong wind or rain, they quickly wash off from the trunks and the forest again remains unprotected. How scary forest fires look, you can see the video below.

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How to prevent forest fires?

Researchers at Stanford UniversityCalifornia) were able to increase the efficiency and durability of fire fighting agents by adding cellulose to their composition. This organic compound, which is actively used in food, medical and agricultural products, retains funds on the surface of trees longer and slows down the evaporation of trapped water. As a result, the forest is under longer protection, which the firefighters have been seeking for a long time.

Forest fires really look very scary

A new fire extinguishing agent has been tested onflowering plants called adenostoma (Adenostoma fasciculatum). The product applied to them could protect them from the effects of fire even after heavy rainfall. This is an excellent result, considering that the currently existing products are almost completely washed off from plants within a few hours. In addition, the developed product consists entirely of natural materials and cannot harm the environment - according to the researchers, there are many advantages in this tool.

This is how plants of the Adenostoma fasciculatum family look like

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The consequences of forest fires

Of course, this is an extremely useful development,because, due to forest fires, not only trees die, but also animals with people. Surely I could get from your fires in 2019 to your city, because of which some people might feel unwell. The fact is that even one breath of smoke from a burning fire can cause irreversible effects in the human body. They are caused by particles smaller than a human hair contained in forest smoke, which easily enter the bloodstream and can cause weakening of the immune system and further exposure to infectious diseases.

You can read about why forest smoke is much more dangerous than radiation in our special material.

In general, humanity has other prevent fires, however they are not yet used. Recently, researchers at Brigham Young University studied the signs of fire and developed a computer model to predict forest fires 20 minutes before they occur. It sounds pretty cool, but it’s not clear when all these technologies will be actively used.