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Officials issue hazard advisory regarding burned properties

The Butte County Public Health officer has issued a hazard advisory warning against habitation of destroyed property in Butte County.

Posted: Sep 15, 2020 7:15 PM
Updated: Sep 15, 2020 7:16 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Dr. Robert Bernstein, Butte County health officer, has issued a hazard advisory strongly suggesting no habitation of destroyed property due to the North Complex West Zone until property is declared clear of hazardous waste and structural ash and debris by Butte County Environmental Health.

Cal Fire Public Information officer, Rick Carhart says there are many potential risks in burn scar areas, like weak trees, power poles or other tall structures that may have become unstable after the fire.

He says tree stumps could also be dangerous because they may have burned holes in the ground that are not visible on the surface.

Carhart says there could also be chemicals inside or around homes that could be hazardous. People should be alert and pay attention to any strange odors. 

The press release issued by the public health department says there is evidence from recent fires in California that homes and other types of property destroyed by fire contain high and concerning levels of heavy metals, lead, mercury, dioxin, arsenic, and/or other carcinogens.

It also says some property may have the presence of radioactive materials. Exposure to hazardous substances may lead to acute and chronic health effects, and may cause long-term public health and environmental impacts.

As areas affected by the fire with destroyed homes and property are opened to residents, residents will have limited access to visit property to collect recognizable belongings and mementoes that may have survived the fire.

Residents should review the health and safety precaution for re-entry packet, which will be distributed at controlled re-entry checkpoints. The county is working with various state and federal partners to establish a process for the assessment and removal of household hazardous waste and asbestos, as well as structural ash and debris from the fire.

This process will be announced to the public upon its completion. 

To know more about how you can stay safe when returning to assess damages in fire impacted areas, CLICK HERE. 

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 779491

Reported Deaths: 14893
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2585166330
Riverside566811153
San Bernardino51750858
Orange516461123
San Diego44007757
Kern31148340
Fresno27487355
Sacramento21171375
Alameda20364370
Santa Clara20129295
San Joaquin19793414
Stanislaus16229329
Contra Costa15640198
Tulare15517256
Ventura12167142
Imperial11534312
San Francisco1064096
Monterey933765
San Mateo9332142
Santa Barbara8803109
Merced8719133
Kings715877
Sonoma6987114
Marin6522112
Solano608555
Madera429658
Placer340741
San Luis Obispo333227
Yolo273253
Butte272033
Santa Cruz21758
Sutter163110
Napa159213
San Benito127211
Yuba11127
El Dorado10584
Mendocino82218
Lassen7310
Shasta66814
Glenn5483
Nevada5035
Colusa5026
Tehama4874
Humboldt4826
Lake43310
Calaveras30513
Amador28616
Tuolumne2204
Inyo18714
Mono1632
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Del Norte1351
Mariposa752
Plumas490
Modoc230
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
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Oroville
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Chester
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Most of the forecast will remain pleasant and seasonable with big changes possible by next weekend.
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