CAMINO — “Recently there have been several fires caused by people improperly disposing of their fireplace/woodstove ashes. The last one burned about one-quarter acre and burned a neighboring property. This type of fire is completely avoidable” cautions Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire. “If you properly dispose of the ashes from your fireplace in a metal can you won’t jeopardize your property or those of your neighborhood.”
Proper ash disposal tips:
• When cleaning your fireplace or woodstove, always place your ashes in a metal container. Never use a paper or plastic bag or cardboard box.
• Put the metal container outside and immediately pour water into the can to cool any hot embers. Coals or pieces of wood can smolder for days.
• Stir the water into the ashes, making sure everything is cold.
• Cover the container with a lid and store the metal container away from flammable materials.
• If you vacuum your ashes make sure you use an appropriate “ash vacuum” which is specially designed to hold hot and cold embers. Never, ever use your regular home vacuum.
• Never place hot ashes in your garbage can as they will catch your garbage can on fire. Last Thursday a home in Sacramento caught fire after the homeowner placed hot ashes in their garbage can.
“Let’s make sure our holiday season is filled with wonderful memories, not a visit by the fire department. Remember fire prevention is your responsibility,” said Keenan.