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News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

'Orange Slime' use in fighting fires debated (photos)

by Sanden Totten | Take Two®

The retardant is artificially colored bright red so that during a fire Cal Fire crews know where each drop started and left off. Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Today is the 10th anniversary of the so-called "Firestorm of 2003m" when more than a dozen wildfires raged across Southern California from Simi Valley to San Diego. 

The frequency and intensity of wildfires have risen over the years, and one of the weapons used to fight those fires is that bright orange liquid dumped from planes above the flames: fire retardant.

Turns out fire retardant is made here in Southern California. As KPCC's Science Reporter Sanden Totten explains, not everyone thinks it works when it matters most.

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