On October 10, 2022, the Center of Excellence (CoE) conducted a test burn of the fire suppressant agent FS-01 near our office at the Rifle-Garfield County Airport in Rifle, Colorado. The experiment aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a new fire suppressant called FS01. The Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting (CoE) performed the experiment with the assistance of the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control Wildland Fire Management Section, the Colorado River Fire Protection District, Garfield County, the Rifle-Garfield County Airport, and the product manufacturer, Green Canyon Ventures.
For the FS01 Burn Test, two large piles, approximately 10 feet wide by 50 feet long, were created using sagebrush, juniper, and greasewood to mimic a dense stand/jackpot representing natural fuels found on the Western Slope of Colorado. The piles were such that the fuel density was higher than would be naturally seen. The fuels were very dry. The burn was conducted using piles located on land owned by Garfield County on the east end of the Rifle-Garfield County Airport and south of the main taxiways and runway. The CoE documented the characteristics of the burning site, the fuels, the environmental conditions, the observed fire behavior, and the effectiveness of FS01.
Sections of the piles were pre-treated with the FS-01 product 1 hour and 2 hours before the burn. The burn was conducted during prescribed fuels and weather conditions. During the burn, the piles were monitored with a video camera, a thermal camera, and thermocouples connected to a data logger to collect temperature data. The intent was to assess the effectiveness of the product to reduce fire intensity, and extinguishing or halt the forward spread of the fire.
The piles were ignited using drip torches on the upwind end. The fire burned intensely through the untreated portion of the piles, then through the treated portion, and the CoE recorded the fire behavior and temperatures.
The CoE observed a marked decrease in burn intensity and temperature as the fire moved from untreated fuel into treated fuel. The fire progression slowed significantly through the treated area; however, untreated sections beyond the treated area ignited from convective heating or embers. The fire then burned back into the treated area. An obvious cooling reaction occurred in the treated areas, but as the applied FS01 product was consumed, that reaction stopped, and eventually, the treated areas burned.
The objective was to mimic dry, dense, natural fuels and test the performance of the FS-01 Fire Suppressant. Even though cooler temps and higher relative humidity prevailed, the fuels were very dry, so the fire burned intensely thermocouples recorded temperatures exceeding 900°C. No significant difference was noted between pile 1 and 2, so only pile 2 results are presented.
There was an obvious reduction in temperatures as fire impacted the treated fuels, with average temperatures dropping from about 788°C to about 108°C.
The fire did not extinguish fully in the treated fuels, however, had the section beyond the treated fuels also been treated, we expect the fire may have been extinguished.
Background information on FS-01
(Provided by Manufacturer)
FS-01 is a Fire Suppressant with an extinguishing effect for application by ground methods in wild & structural firefighting. It is supplied as a concentrated liquid that mixes readily with water by recirculation, agitation, or mechanical liquid mixing. According to the manufacturer, FS-01 suppresses the fire through an endothermic reaction triggered by heating. When heated, the FS-01 causes extreme cooling and gives off Nitrogen. These factors suppress the fire. When the product has been fully consumed, the reaction terminates, and if there is remaining fire and heat, the remaining fuel will burn.
FS-01 is biodegradable and non-toxic to humans, fauna, and flora. As it is non-toxic to fish, the product can be used close to rivers, lakes, seas, and water supplies. Test results for the product conducted in Europe were provided to the CoE by Green Canyon before conducting our test. A list of the tests performed previously in Europe are included in Appendix A of the report.
FS-01 is provided as a concentrate and stored in a concentrated form. For application, FS-01 is diluted and mixed with water as it is transferred/charged to the delivery system. The product is mixed with water at 15% for wildfires and 10% for structural fires. It is important to homogenize the concentrated product before mixing it with water.