Lot Acceptance and Quality Assurance Program
Lot Acceptance and Quality Assurance
The National Technology and Development Program in Missoula, MT receives field samples of long-term retardants and provides evaluation results to airtanker base personnel and to the retardant manufacturer. This program identifies quality control issues and offers troubleshooting support. The WFCS document "Lot Acceptance and Quality Assurance Program" provides an outline of the Lot Acceptance and Quality Assurance (LAQA) Program.
Field Testing Resources
Airtanker Base LAQA Tests
The LAQA program engages with field personnel every season to test field samples in our laboratory. We also request that personnel at each airtanker base perform their own quality control tests to confirm that they have properly mixed and loaded the retardant. For training and reference purposes, airtanker base crews can use the WFCS document "Long-Term Fire Retardant Characteristics and Mix Factors" to ensure they mix the retardant properly and can find specific information about each QPL retardant on the WFCS Product Information web page.
How to Perform LAQA Tests
The following web pages and documents provide information about performing LAQA tests:
- The WFCS Evaluation of Wildland Fire Chemicals Standard Test Procedures web page (STP4.2—Refractometer Reading)
- The WFCS Refractometer Photos web page
- "Assessment of Seven Refractometers for Evaluating Wildland Fire Retardants" (0577–2822–MTDC)
- The WFCS Refractometer Calibrations contact information web page
- The NTDP document "Evaluation of Wildland Fire Chemicals Standard Test Procedures" (Marsh Funnel)
Sample Submission Process
The WFCS document "Lot Acceptance and Quality Assurance Program" provides an overview of sampling procedures. The WFCS Lot Acceptance and Quality Assurance Procedures web page provides more detailed sampling procedures.
We recommend that you submit the sample to us as soon as possible (no later than 1 week) after collecting it. Delayed sample shipments can decrease the quality of the data collected.
Please ship each sample in a clean, plastic canteen and:
- Seal the lid with tape to prevent it from opening during shipping.
- Fill in the label with a water-resistant pen (most ball point pens or a fine Sharpie work well).
- Obtain labels from Bill Yount (contact information below), or print your own "LAQA Sample" labels.
- Be sure to include an airtanker base contact name and email or phone number.
- Please specify which tank you took the sample from if you have multiple tanks.
- Attach the completed label to the bottle.
WFCS, NTDP USDA Forest Service
5785 Highway 10 West Missoula, MT 59808
Annual Retardant Use Reporting
Every year, our program collects data from the field to determine how much retardant airtanker bases used, as well as base-specific details. We use this information to compile an annual-use report and, when necessary, to report retardant use to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). We collect this information at the end of each fire season using a Word or Acrobat version of the "Retardant Use Report."