December 12, 2022 | Press Release
Rocklin, CA. – FORTRESS NORTH AMERICA announces “Fully Qualified” status upgrade of its two primary aerial long-term fire retardants on the U.S. Forest Service’s Qualified Product List (QPL).
FR-100 Powder and FR-200 Liquid Concentrate formulas represent the first fully qualified aerial LTRs listed on the QPL by a new supplier in over 22 years, thus bringing competitive bidding to future LTR contracts and simultaneously ending the sole-sourced LTR era.
Fortress LTRs will soon be commercially available and cleared for aerial usage in all of North America and other countries that utilize the USFS QPL as the “standard” of approval for purchase.
Fortress, a next-generation fire-retardant company, is the first new company in 22 years to officially pass all testing protocols and certifications for qualifying a new Long-Term Fire Retardant (LTR) on the United States Forest Services’ (USFS) Qualified Product List (QPL). Fortress successfully completed two Operational Field Evaluations by dropping over 400,000 gallons of LTR on active wildfires. The final barrier to entry was the completion of a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), performed in association with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, and the USFS. This document cleared the use of Fortress formulations as long-term aerial fire retardants. The prior EIS document had expired on Dec. 31, 2021, and the required update took longer than anticipated as many new aquatic species and plants needed to be considered.
Fortress is now positioned to on-ramp their LTRs and is in active discussions with the various fire agencies to use Fortress products, equipment and personnel at multiple air tanker bases during the entirety of the 2023 wildfire season in the United States and internationally. Fortress has spent the past five years building and preparing for this milestone occurrence and is well positioned on manufacturing, supply inventories, logistics, staffing and high-scale commercialization functions required to support the U.S. wildland firefighting programs with both exceptional products, equipment, and services. Fortress has assembled a top-notch team with decades of on-the-ground, hands-on experience in the LTR industry. Fortress’ entry into the market brings competition back to a one-sided, sole-sourced, monopoly dominated fire retardant program that has existed for over 20 years.
“We are extremely proud of our achievements at Fortress, having painstakingly built a scalable logistics system around our exceptional environmentally friendly fire retardants. The Fortress team stands ready to compete on every level with the incumbent supplier and can deliver products to any base in the ecosystem. Fortress’ entry brings sorely needed competition back to the market and marks the beginning of a new era of innovation in products as well as air base configurations in the quest to provide superior service to the government wildland fire agencies,” said Robert Burnham, CEO of Fortress.
Fortress’ capabilities and scalability are supported by the integration with its primary strategic partner and minority equity owner, Compass Minerals (Symbol CMP: NYSE).
“We have been working closely with the Fortress team since 2020 and continue to support their efforts to fully commercialize their products. There are strong synergies between Compass Minerals’ existing core competencies being directly applied to support Fortress’ manufacturing, supply chain, and logistics capabilities,” stated Kevin Crutchfield, President, and CEO of Compass Minerals. Fortress is led by CEO Robert Burnham and a team of veteran fire professionals from every discipline of the industry. The Fortress team is composed of forward-leaning engineers, chemists, environmental scientists, and highly experienced operations specialists from the industry focused on providing the next generation of fire-retardant technology, and reinventing wildfire application technologies.
Fortress has introduced a completely new line of Long-Term Fire Retardant products that are the most advanced LTRs ever produced.
The USFS tests fire chemicals for safety and efficacy prior to approval for field use. Fortress FR-100 LTFR and FR-200 have passed all laboratory and field tests required by the USFS long-term fire retardant specification FS-5100-304d. The combustion retarding effectiveness test is one of the most critical tests, as it assesses a new product’s ability to retard the spread of fire against the legacy chemistry of diammonium phosphate (DAP). The newly approved Fortress products performed 20 to 30% better than the 10.6% DAP control in these tests during the qualification process.
Fortress LTRs are based on magnesium chloride and will rehydrate after applying when the relative humidity (RH) rises above 33%RH, a common occurrence overnight on many large wildfires. In fact, if the humidity remains above 33%RH, Fortress products will never completely dry out. The water captured from the atmosphere keeps the retardant pliable and consumes additional energy from the flame front and further improves performance and durability over legacy LTR formulations.
Importantly, Fortress LTRs have best-in-class corrosion protection, based on USFS testing. Corrosion testing on aerospace aluminum alloys, steel, and brass consistently demonstrates that Fortress’ newly approved LTRs have the lowest corrosion rates of any QPL approved products.
Founded in 2016 with corporate locations in California and Montana, FORTRESS is a new and innovative fire-retardant company that has designed and developed the FORTRESS family of chemically advanced “next generation” long-term fire retardants, engineered for environmental safety and superior efficacy.MEDIA >
Media contact: Erin Fox, firstname.lastname@example.org
More info: www.fortressfrs.com