The Fires May Be Contained, But The Danger From Burned Toxins Remains
Crews will be going through the rubble left behind by the Camp Fire, to clean up toxins left from the blaze. Those include isotopes from burned-up antique crockware, cupboards of incinerated household cleaners and paints, and asbestos from old siding.
The New York Times:
In California, Houses Burned. So Did The Toxic Chemicals They Contained.
The long, laborious process of returning Paradise and neighboring towns to a safe state will begin next month when crews in masks, Tyvek suits and booties begin combing through every last property in this town that was decimated by wildfire. Their targets are things like burned bottles of bleach, melted cans of paint, and corroded car batteries, which will be tagged and removed. Next, they will test the surrounding soil and, if needed, scrape away layers to get to clean earth, free from oil and gasoline. “You’d be surprised how much of that stuff survives a fire,” said Adam W. Palmer, an environmental scientist with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control who is helping lead the cleanup. (Nir, 11/29)
Los Angeles Times:
Rain Triggers Debris Flows As Storm Rolls Across Fire-Scarred Regions Of California
A cold front that brought wind and heavy rain to California on Thursday unleashed debris flows in fire-ravaged neighborhoods, triggering evacuations and school closures as crews up and down the state rescued people trapped in homes and cars and, in one case, a man clinging to a tree in the Los Angeles River. (Fry and Tchekmedyian, 11/29)