Peat has been used as fuel for centuries – its high carbon content made it useful for cooking and heating since primitive times. Peat builds up as organic material such as leaves, grasses, fallen trees, and root systems build up over decades or centuries. When ignited, often by wildfire or lightning strike, it smolders and can burn undetected for months or years – even centuries. Peat fires are a glowing global threat with serious economic and ecological impacts.
Peat fires usually burn a smaller area than fast-moving forest fires, but they can burn up to 10 times more fuel mass per acre, producing far more smoke.
In the past, hundreds of firefighters battled a 40,000-acre peat fire in North Carolina that burned for months – the dry region had not received significant rain. Started by a lightning strike, it was the largest wildfire in the United States at the time. Peat fires in Indonesia have added countless tons of carbon to the atmosphere. The massive peat deposits in Southeast Asia jungles could be burned out by 2040.
The Russian capital is often covered with the smoke from one of the largest peat fires on earth. The area around Moscow has a long history of peat fires, caused by the draining of bogs and swamps in the early 1900′s, creating thousands of acres of dried peat. Deposited over many centuries, peat is the perfect fuel for a difficult fire.
How can peat fires be stopped?
Until now, peat fires have been incredibly difficult to eradicate. Fighting peat fires usually means pumping in thousands – or even millions – of gallons of water, excavating large areas, or simply “hoping for rain”. Now, with global drought conditions at historic highs, peat fires are becoming a menace to property, lives, the environment, and local economies.
Peat FireX breaks the surface tension, allowing this revolutionary product to reach the smoldering fuel, creating an intumescent layer protecting all organic material it comes into contact with and significantly reducing temperatures due to its endothermic capabilities. Peat fires treated with Peat FireX can remain treated for days, preventing re-ignition or spread. And when the fire is out, Peat FireX biodegrades into a natural fertilizer.
There’s finally a solution to one of the world’s most pressing fire suppression problems. Contact us to learn more.
LEARN MORE FROM SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN:
Read about the environmental impact of peat fires – and the amazing effectiveness of Peat FireX – as reported in Scientific American Magazine. (Download PDF).