USA: Class A Foam is on the Shelf (IFFN No. 9 – July 1993)


Class A Foam is on the Shelf

(IFFN No. 9 – July 1993, p. 21-22)


The National Wildfire Coordination Group Fire Equipment Working Team is producing two series of publications on the use of Class A foam for wildland fire management.


A videotape series introduces the basic principles of foam chemicals, explains the function of mixing and foam generating equipment, and demonstrates suppressive and protective applications. Videotapes that are now available through the Publications Management System are:

INTRODUCTION TO CLASS A FOAM, a brief introduction to Class A foam technology discussing chemistry, generating equipment, and examples of application. 1989, 13:00, VHS only, NFES #2073.

THE PROPERTIES OF FOAM, explains how Class A foam enhances the abilities of water to extinguish fire and to prevent fuel ignition. Basic foam concepts including drain time, expansion, and foam type are presented. 1992, 15:00, VHS only, NFES #2219.

CLASS A FOAM PROPORTIONERS, explains how common mixing systems, including eductors and direct injection devices, add a measured amount of foam concentrate into a known volume of water. Advantages and disadvantages are also discussed. 1992, 23:10, VHS only, NFES #2245.

ASPIRATING NOZZLES, explains how aspirating nozzles work and introduces the variety of nozzles available. 1992, 10:13, VHS only, NFES #2272.

Videotapes that will be available in the near future include:

COMPRESSED AIR FOAM SYSTEMS, explains the basics of compressed air foam systems; discusses options for water pumps, air compressors, and power sources; demonstrates safe operation. Available Spring 1993.

TACTICS I: INDIRECT ATTACK, discusses the primary objective of raising fuel moisture; demonstrates applications for protection of vegetation and structures, and for constructing line from which to burn. Available Fall 1993.

TACTICS II: DIRECT ATTACK, discusses the primary objective of achieving the critical flow rate; demonstrates applications of suppression including flame knockdown, extinguishment, and mop-up. Available Fall 1993.

User Guide

A basic user guide series presents introductory and comprehensive explanations of foam properties, equipment, ground applications, and aerial applications. User guides that are now available through the Publications Management System are: 

FOAM VS. FIRE, CLASS A FOAM FOR WILDLAND FIRES, 1992. This 28-page publication explains how to get the most firefighting punch from water by converting water to class A foam. Discusses how and why foam works. Explains drain time, expansion ratio, foam type, proportioning, aspirating nozzles and compressed air foam systems. Also discusses application for direct attack, indirect attack, mopup, structure protection, and safety considerations. NFES #2246.

FOAM VS. FIRE, PRIMER, 1992. This 9-page publication covers the basics of using class A foams and discusses their adaptability to present application equipment. NFES #2270.The third user guide will address aerial delivery of class A foam including foam properties, and equipment for helicopter and fixed-wing applications. This publication is under development.

These videos and publications can be ordered from the Boise Interagency Fire Center. The estimated price for each videotape is $3.00; each user guide is $.75. To order, provide document name and NFES number and mail or fax a purchase order or requisition to:


Boise Interagency Fire Center
ATTN: Supply
3905 Vista Avenue
USA-Boise, Idaho 83705

Phone: (++1) 208-389-2542
Fax:     (++1) 208-389-2573



The Bureau of Land Management is presenting a workshop on Class A Foam entitled “Class A Foams, Generating Systems, and Tactics”. The workshop demonstrates the properties of water and foam for fire suppression, examines proportioning and foam generating devices, and describes applications and tactics. Case studies from actual fires are used to suggest tactics for direct and indirect attack, mop-up/overhaul, and structure and resource protection. Instruction is a combination of lecture, hands-on demonstration, and live fire exercises. The next course is scheduled as follows:

19-21 October 1993.

All sessions will be held at the Boise Interagency Fire Center, Boise, Idaho. To place nominations please contact


Ron Rochna,  
Course Coordinator
Boise Interagency Fire Center
3905 Vista Avenue, 
USA-Boise, ID 83705

Phone: (++1) 208-389-2432


A 16-hour Class A foam S-course is also under development for training. The course is expected to combine material from the videos, publications, and workshop exercises to enable students to successfully use foam for fire management.



From: Paul M. Schlobohm
Boise Interagency Fire Center
Bureau of Land Management
3905 Vista Avenue
USA-Boise, Idaho 83705

Country Notes


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