World's Largest Fire Extinguisher Stands in for Fireworks, Does a July 4th Flyby

No, this is not a Photoshop. It was taken on the 4th of July by Spencer Weiner of the LA Times, showing a firefighting airtanker dropping state-of-the-art fire retardant on wildfires in southern California.

The retardant it's dropping consists of ammonium sulfate or ammonium polyphosphate with attapulgite clay thickener or diammonium phosphate with a guar gum derivative thickener, coloured with ferric oxide to mark where it's been dispersed. Not only is it non-toxic, but after the fire is out it'll act as a fertilizer to promote new growth. Be thankful one doesn't have to buzz by your house, and be sure to visit The Big Picture for a lot more incredible photos from the recent CA wildfires. [The Big Picture; Wikipedia]

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