Department of Toxic Substances Control teams in Butte County
BANGOR, Calif. - The Department of Toxic Substances Control, or DTSC, worked from sun up to sun down in Bangor Tuesday.
This week, the hazardous materials team is going property to property to remove toxic wastes after the La Porte and Cherokee Fires. It's a service being offered to fire victims who sign up, free of charge by Butte County.
The hazmat team started Monday and will continue through the end of the week, as long as it takes to finish about 60 properties. The combustion of heavy metals is what causes the toxic waste. These fires will leave behind asbestos in burned down properties. It's a microscopic fiber that could cause Mesothelioma and lung cancer.
The team also removes toxic ash, batteries and propane tanks.
"That asbestos will be friable meaning that when winds pick up, it can get airborne, it can go to neighbors, it can get in neighbors lungs," explained Tom Parker, hazmat supervisor with Butte County Environmental Health. "So we really want to make sure that asbestos is taken care of. Additionally, your ash will have a variety of pollutants in it."
This toxin screening is the first step after the fire, then next week the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery will go in to remove the remaining fire debris from the properties.
To sign up for this free service, click here. Fire victims can also walk in to the Fire Assistance Center open from Monday - Friday, 12-3 p.m. at 7 County Center Drive in Oroville.