Portland Approves Fire Retardant Drops in Bull Run Watershed

Approval allows use of chemicals to protect forest


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland Water Bureau approved fire retardant drops in the Bull Run watershed, a decision that allows firefighters to dump toxic chemicals in the city’s pristine source of drinking water.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports (https://www.oregonlive.com/wildfires/index.ssf/2017/09/water_bureau_oks_fire_retardan.html#incart_big-photo ) the city agency Tuesday confirmed the approval.

The approval allows the use of chemicals to protect the forest in Bull Run in a city that has fought for years to keep its water fluoride free.

Bureau spokeswoman Nicole Adams says the bureau’s water quality staff has anticipated the possibility that fire retardant would be needed and has a plan to monitor its use and impact in the watershed that feeds the taps of nearly 1 million people.

Adams says the retardant, typically dropped by air, would only be applied to areas that are actively burning.

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