Sometime in July, the U.S. Forest Service air tanker base in Medford pumped its millionth gallon of fire retardant into a plane.
That was just a week after lightning started many fires around the region, and a figure usually not reached until the end of fire season. Across the country, the use of the red slurry has doubled as fires and fire seasons have grown more intense.
That may cheer the people who want to see the fires contained, but it raises concerns about the environment. The group Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics is among several raising questions about the use of fire retardant and its side effects. FSEEE founder Andy Stahl visits with an overview.