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State Begins Removal Of Toxic Debris Burned By The Fawn Fire

The piles of ash left by the destruction of the Fawn Fire contain many unseen hazards. Some materials, including heavy metals, Asbestos, pesticides, cleaning chemicals and paint, will be removed during phase one inspections by the State Department of Toxic Substances Control beginning Tuesday. That agency must inspect all outgoing fire debris because a lot of household hazardous waste, such as Asbestos, cannot go into landfills. Because of the dangerous nature of the materials, cleanup crews may need to enter some properties without permission, with the sole intent of removing those hazardous wastes. It’s not yet known if the state will facilitate a no-cost debris removal program as it has with some other fires. If so, phase two of the cleanup will require the permission of homeowners, who can opt out if they choose. If there is no state cleanup program, or if homeowners opt out, they must get a demolition permit from the county and complete the debris removal on their own or with a contractor. People are warned to avoid contact with ash, and not to use blowers or anything else that’ll make it airborne. Washing it into storm drains should also be avoided as much as possible.