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Air Pollution Officials Discuss Best Ways To Clean Ash From Your Home In Wake Of Thomas Fire

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Photo by Santa Barbara County Fire Department
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Thomas Fire burning in Santa Barbara County

Many Ventura and Santa Barbara county residents are returning home to find a lot of ash left by the massive Thomas Fire. But, there are ways you can properly clean up all that ash.

Don’t start cleaning while ash is still falling. Wait until conditions improve. Make sure to protect yourself by wearing a mask and gloves.

Aeron Arlin Genet with the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District says follow the three C’s, starting with control.

“When you’re cleaning up the ash, we don’t want you to re-suspend the ash into the air and then breaking it down to smaller pieces. So, avoid using any equipment like a leaf blower that will blow it up,” she said.

Then, contain.

“Gently sweep with a broom. We want you to use a wet mop or a damp cloth to gather it all together,” she said.

Finally, capture.

“We’re trying to get the ash off of your landscape, whether it’s your sidewalks or your driveways, and capturing it before it goes to hurt the waterways and the environment and the aquatic life,” Genet said. 

She says ash can be bagged and put in a trash can. 

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