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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.

Cases: 3168528

Reported Deaths: 37121
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles107315615262
San Bernardino2644571667
Riverside2585322777
San Diego2271952375
Orange2232882638
Santa Clara980571234
Kern90213590
Fresno852741043
Sacramento834081157
Alameda70334894
Ventura65581507
San Joaquin59395808
Contra Costa54951489
Stanislaus44184788
Tulare42759531
Monterey37285259
San Mateo33731340
San Francisco30308293
Santa Barbara26820265
Solano26494111
Imperial25581493
Merced25048324
Sonoma24935247
Kings19904160
Placer17675188
San Luis Obispo16652151
Madera13858151
Santa Cruz12771130
Marin11954163
Yolo11087138
Shasta9951129
Butte9757134
El Dorado800259
Sutter794383
Napa789347
Lassen526916
San Benito516648
Yuba504929
Tehama446846
Tuolumne344340
Nevada333274
Mendocino327736
Amador304932
Lake267332
Humboldt249425
Glenn201522
Colusa18549
Calaveras169523
Siskiyou148413
Mono11354
Inyo100729
Del Norte8732
Plumas6055
Modoc3903
Mariposa3514
Trinity3054
Sierra880
Alpine730
Unassigned00
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Oroville
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Several inches of rain along with multiple feet of snow will fall Tuesday through Friday with the biggest winter storm so far this season. A widespread hard freeze will be seen in the valley Monday night.
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