Ask a Firemen: How Do I Dispose of Hot Ashes?

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Don't catch your garbage toter on fire with hot ash.
Don't catch your garbage toter on fire with hot ash.
Shared by our sister Patch Los Gatos Patch
Back by popular demand, "You Ask ... Patch Answers,” our weekend feature where we strive to find answers to all your questions—big, small and in-between—about the town we live and work in.

Whether it’s something you’ve always wondered about, some information you just can’t put your hands on or a sudden curiosity, we want to hear it.

This week's question comes from Los Gatos Patch reader Mckenna Smith, who asked: "My neighbor recently caused a small vegetation fire after dumping hot ashes from his wood burning stove outside. Can you remind the public how to properly dispose of hot ashes? Thank you."

To get an answer we contacted Santa Clara County fire officials who had this to say: "This New Year has seen Santa Clara County Fire and Cal Fire respond to four brush fires in the Lexington Hills that were ignited by improper disposal of hot ashes and coals.

"You may be thinking, 'This is the dead of winter, how can that be?' Briefly, your community is experiencing the driest year on record, and the live fuel moistures are currently at a critical level (exceptionally dry). The 2013 fire season never ended and we begin 2014 in fire season.
"How do you properly dispose of ashes and coals? Ashes and coals need to be placed in a noncombustible container, with a tight fitting lid. This container then needs to be placed on a noncombustible surface (e.g. bare earth, concrete) and at least 10 feet from vegetation or combustible structures. Do not place your coal/ash container on combustible decks.

"Be safe. We care about your safety. Santa Clara County Fire Department."


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