Sonoma County health department issues emergency order for residents reentering fire zone

A firefighter uses a hose to put out the Kincade Fire burning in Sonoma County.

An emergency order that forbids residents reentering the area of the Kincade Fire from cleaning their property has been issued by the Sonoma County Health Officer.

"The burnt remains of building materials, such as siding, roofing tiles, and insulation, results in dangerous ash that may contain asbestos, 
heavy metals, and other materials that are hazardous to health," according to a news release from Dr. Celeste Philip. "Additionally, household hazardous waste,such as paint, gasoline, cleaning products, pesticides, compressed gas cylinders, and chemicals stored in homes, garages, or outbuildings that may have burned in the fire can also produce hazardous materials."

Exposure can lead to hazardous substances can lead to long-term public health and environmental risks, particularly from inhaled dust particles and contaminated drinking water.

Property owners and others in the fire area are advised that they "should not enter the burn footprint of structures without Personal Protective Equipment, such as protective eyewear, gloves and long sleeves and pants, and closed-toe footwear, such as boots."

In addition the order tells residents not to clean their property and advises that debris bins will not be provided until further notice.