Unfortunately, like the various companies and local governments with fleets of firefighting aircraft, it appears that this fire containment system is being stonewalled by bureaucrats within the Forest Service and other federal agencies. F.A.C.S. is already used by residential customers, but can’t seem to break through the barriers of federal inflexibility.
Dan Sinclair is an inventor whose firefighter dad inspired him to seek new approaches to mitigating and dousing large, hot, potentially-lethal wildfires. Dan is from Aurora, Illinois, but was further compelled by the horrific deaths of 19 Arizona wildland firefighters in 2013. In the tragedy’s wake in 2014, Dan patented the invention, “4-Fire,” and his company, Fast Application Containment System (F.A.C.S.) began production of the substance, making it commercially available for residential and governmental use. It was given the okay in 2015 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its effectiveness in preventing and suppressing both small and large fires in a non-toxic, environmentally neutral way. The F.A.C.S. press release from August 2015 details:
“4-FIRE” is a gluten protein-based product invented and patented by Dan Sinclair, President of F.A.C.S Operations. Last year, Dan’s 4-FIRE was featured in a segment of DISCOVERY CHANNEL CANADA’s DAILY PLANET, an award-winning internationally broadcast program that showcased its many qualities. James A. Moye, Project Engineer of the US Army Corps of Engineer, met with Dan recently for a demonstration of the soil stabilization formulation of his product, and was highly impressed with how the food-grade gluten encapsulated,(binding and blanketing),the soil particles, fire fuel materials, and even for oil spill absorption, “what impressed me most about FACS is the versatility and speed of the product”.
The F.A.C.S. website goes on to describe it’s beneficial properties:
The second is direct application of the product onto existing ignited materials, in this scenario, the System acts as a “blanket” barrier, literally smothering the flames by oxygen deprivation as it forms a containment layer.
Additionally a lessening of smoke release, particulate matter and hazardous ember propagation is realized as the natural “tacky” properties of the system have been shown to both trap smoke, noxious gases and reduce the amount of airborne particulates and ash. The advance in this technology stems from the innovative incorporation of Surface Science Technologies line of fungicidal preservatives. This addition of a complex polymer molecule renders the system virtually odorless while incorporating a component with known antifungal properties…
The fact that 4-FIRE usage will result in substantially LESS WATER necessary to extinguish fires should be a strong consideration with today’s severe drought conditions.
Beyond saving forests and reducing air pollution, the encapsulating abilities of Dan’s fire suppressant also serve to contain oil spills. As the press release explains:
Imagine, all of the FACS products are so highly efficient in use, WITHOUT the consequence of residual hazardous chemicals. We see the images of chemical damage to beaches and marine life with television coverage of oil spill disasters demonstrating scope and magnitude. This kind of attention is not given to the heartbreaking consequences to wildlife and forests after chemical slurry drops on wildfires.
Check out the demonstration video here
Unfortunately, like the various companies and local governments with fleets of firefighting aircraft, it appears that this fire containment system is being stonewalled by bureaucrats within the Forest Service and other federal agencies. F.A.C.S. is already used by residential customers, but can’t seem to break through the barriers of federal inflexibility. The press release makes the case:
With the help of the media, agency red-tape could be broken in the quest for funding to implement this technological innovation. In the meantime, F.A.C.S. Operations is attempting to encourage existing and new contractors to provide pre-emptive fire prevention services for homeowners and businesses that are in imminent danger of possible wildfires. The result could be to slow-down the progression of flames toward a structure and provide more time for fire crews to arrive and battle the fire. The fires follow the path of least resistance and availability of ground fuels. The smothering characteristics of 4-FIRE reduces the availability of necessary oxygen and heat absorption of the forest fuels to divert the fire’s path elsewhere, possibly saving the structure altogether.
With the purchase of a stored inventory, fire departments could at least demonstrate their efforts to protect the public. Motorists on the I-15 could have been trapped by fire on all sides instead of just one, and would much rather be sprayed with a food-grade retardant they could safely ingest than toxic slurry retardant. They would rather watch the 4-Fire smothering and smoldering around them instead of the firefighters ongoing efforts to save them with water application. The 19 Hot Shots that perished inside their protection tents at the Yarnell, Arizona fire could possibly have survived with 4-FIRE availability and deployment.
Dan Sinclair spoke with Free Range Report and told us that he had approached several officials in the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) about using his invention to fight wildland fires. One advantage, he says, is that “F.A.C.S. can put out large canopy fires. Other retardants currently used by the USFS fall to the ground and put out the lower level forest fires, but it’s the fire in the tree tops that burns so hot and spreads uncontrollably.”
Unfortunately, Sinclair’s efforts to bring on the Forest Service have been unsuccessful. As he explains, “The Forest Service has a 50 year-old contract with Phos-Chek that they will not break. For some reason they prefer to use 50 year-old technology that doesn’t work all that well instead of something new and environmentally-friendly that can actually put out the most destructive fires.” He goes on to explain that, “One Forest Service chief told me that their mission is to fight fires, not put out fires.” This, sadly, comes as no surprise given the fact that the Forest Service’s massive budget is made up primarily of funds earmarked for firefighting.
Nevertheless, Sinclair wants to get the word out about his product to residential customers and local governments. “It really comes down to the property owners. If you live in a fire-prone area you can keep a tank of F.A.C.S. on hand to spray your roof or on the sides of your house if it is threatened.” He goes on, “If the Forest Service won’t use the newest, most effective technology to put out fires, private citizens and local departments can.”
You can find additional information about F.A.C.S. along with demonstration videos by visiting facsoperations.com
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