Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,189 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- 2 Arrested in Off-Duty Texas Police Officer's Death – Report
- Read the Cover Story: The Kennedy Family's Darkest Secret
- FROM SI: Former Colts Linebacker Josh McNary Found Not Guilty on All Charges in Rape Case
- SCOOP: 4-Year-Old Cries When Asked About the First Day of School by Reporter (VIDEO)
- VIDEO: Sheryl Crow: My Sons Keep Me Young
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- May 18, 1981
- Vol. 15
- No. 19
Forest Fire Fighters Call Mark Cummins' Foam a Snow Job, but It May Save Lives
Foam has been used to fight blazes for 100 years and is especially effective in forests, expanding the often-limited water supply tenfold. But the process is expensive: The necessary chemicals sell for up to $23 per gallon and the trucks generating the foam through multichambered systems usually cost $100,000 plus.
In 1975, however, while charging a conventional foam system with gas, an observant Cummins noticed that a mixture of air and pressure produced foam without circulating through any chambers. He began to develop his stripped-down system. A pickup fitted with his invention, which utilizes a 250-gallon tank for the water and chemicals and an air compressor, costs a mere $10,000, including the price of the truck. Cummins also has found a cheap substitute for the chemicals—"pine soap," a nontoxic by-product of papermaking that runs just 30 cents a gallon. The soap smells faintly like Baretta's socks, Cummins observes, "but that's better than burnt meat." He's got a point. Texas Snow Job has already saved equipment, and Cummins' chief, Pat Ebarb, predicts it will save lives. When men are suddenly overrun by flames while bulldozing firebreaks, they can cover themselves in a cocoon of the foam and the fire should rage past them, leaving them unscathed.
Cummins' fascination with fire gear comes naturally—his father once sold it in Fort Worth. But age-old methods still abound, with forest services even now relying on plows, buckets and shovels. Mark Cummins hopes to improve on that. Not content with his Snow Job, he's now back at his drawing board. His dream: to develop fire-zapping laser beams.
September 03, 2015
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!