Public: Fire
Borate Bouncing Bettys   (+15, -1)  [vote for, against]
Grind fire retardant and pour it on fires

The Bouncing Betty was a land mine whose initial charge propelled it several feet in the air when it was tripped.

Then the secondary charge would spray shrapnel.

"Borate bomber" is the term applied to fire fighting aircraft that drop brightly colored fire retardant. The formula has evolved, but the name has stuck.

The Borate Bouncing Bettys would be liberally seeded by aircraft all over the Southern California landscape. When temperatures flared outside a given parameter, these devices would fling themselves into the air and spray fire retardant.
-- normzone, Oct 29 2007

A brief history of aerial firefighting http://www.airtanke...istory/pioneers.htm
[normzone, Oct 29 2007]

Barnes Wallis http://www.solarnav...s/barnes_wallis.htm
(for [21 Quest]) [neutrinos_shadow, Oct 30 2007]

[21 Quest], you were thinking of Barnes Wallis and his dambuster bouncing bombs <linky>.
-- neutrinos_shadow, Oct 30 2007

A lot of very depressed campers trying to cook their dinner on the ol' campfire?
-- the dog's breakfast, Oct 30 2007

While I grew up building camp fires (carefully), these days that sort of thing is restricted to firepits in campgrounds, and one is required to use stoves in many areas.

But perhaps we could include a spicy flavoring in the blend.
-- normzone, Oct 30 2007

I thought I had seen Borat's Bouncing betty's in his movie.
-- 4whom, Oct 30 2007

Very Naaiicce!
-- rascalraidex, Oct 30 2007

Just cause you don't like them is no reason to borate them.
-- phundug, Oct 30 2007

+ yay, I was hoping all was well with you [normzone]!
-- xandram, Oct 31 2007

Thanks, [xandram]. I was one of the lucky ones. While it burned within a few miles on three sides of me, I was deep enough in Escondido that I didn't have to evacuate, just hole up and breath smoke for a few days.
-- normzone, Oct 31 2007

Myself, I'm in favor of artillery launching fire retardant shells - something on the order of battleship guns. On tractor-trailers, and based in every community.
-- normzone, Nov 01 2007

I keep reading this as Borat...
-- xenzag, Nov 01 2007

[+] bun, but better byname: "bouncing borate bombs?"
-- goldbb, May 10 2009

As a side-note: Only us old soldiers call them bouncing bettys anymore. Now the preferred term is "Bounding Fragmentation Grenade".

Unfortunately the PC craze has reached even those unflinching leathernecks whom employ the most ingenious of methods to rob the lives of fellow human beings.

Oh yeah, and [+].

I'd love to watch them in action.
-- MikeD, May 10 2009

I can see this working in shrubs, but with trees in the mix, how do you get the retardant into the treetops?

Also: the 2007 californian fire destroyed 2000km² of land. I could not find recommended values for retardant-concentration, so i assume 1kg/m2. Just to cover the area destroyed then, 2.000.000 tons of retardant. At ~500 dollar per ton (cheap, but then, this is a bulk order), this is a billion dollars just for the retardant, or roughly 60% of the current wildfire budget...

With that kind of money, itmight be possible to monitor the area via satellite for heat-sources, and lob a cruise missile for each one detected, to extinguish the fire with an airburst. Good way to disarm, too.
-- loonquawl, May 11 2009

[OT] "Bouncing Betty" was one of the "runners" in the M*A*S*H gurney race [/OT] [+]
-- coprocephalous, May 11 2009

Ballistic Borate Bomb?
-- goldbb, May 12 2009

[loonquawl], you bring up some interesting points. Most of where I live is now "shrubs" (sagebrush), since while the oaks are coming back, we lost our pines in the fire and it is questionable if they will return in any number.

I like the cruise missile idea, but I'd wager those things are pretty pricey as well.

60% of the budget for one year to seed the state would not be a bad deal in my book, but it has occurred to me that when the inevitable change in philosophy happens and they want to pull them all for upgrades, it would be a piece of work to find them all. GPS rears it's head here, increasing the cost.

Years later, hikers still carefully follow proven safe footpaths, ever since the "Trebly Charged Recall Bulletin" of 2014.
-- normzone, Nov 08 2010

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