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U.S. District Court Rules In Favor Of Continued Use Of Fire Retardants

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Sonora, CA–The U.S. District Court for the District of Montana ruled in favor of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in a case brought by Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics (FSEEE) regarding the use of aerial fire retardants during firefighting operations. The Court’s ruling allows the USFS to continue employing these tools while pursuing a Clean Water Act (CWA) permit. A story covering the initial lawsuit can be found here.

Following the court’s decision, Ken Pimlott, former Director of CAL FIRE, expressed his relief, stating, “Today’s court decision will literally save lives. The aerial application of fire retardant is a critical part of the U.S. Forest Service’s firefighting strategy, and it unquestionably reduces a fire’s rate of spread, intensity, and danger to firefighters and the public. Taking this tool away would undermine the health and safety of our communities and cause significant economic harm to businesses navigating the constant threat of wildfire. Because the court rightfully chose to prioritize public safety, Americans across the West can breathe a sigh of relief.”

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