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The cavalry, or the contaminator? The debate over tankers dropping fire retardant

When a big wildland fire breaks out, a lot of people want to see the planes move in. The sight of a big tanker plane dropping a load of crimson fire retardant is expected when the flames spread. But there's been a debate for years over the effectiveness of the practice, and the appropriateness of using retardant chemicals on the landscape, especially near streams.

Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, FSEEE, argues against the use of fire retardant drops, both in public and in court. We dig into the various concerns and how they have been addressed, in a visit with FSEEE Executive Director Andy Stahl.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.