Fire officials determined that the Camas Mountain Fire was caused by hot ashes from a wood stove being dumped in dry grass. While there are no restrictions on using wood stoves insides homes, it is important that the ashes are disposed of properly so they don’t start a wildfire. Ash from a fireplace or wood stove can retain enough heat to ignite other combustible material for several days after a fire.
When cleaning ash from a fireplace or wood stove, follow these tips:
- Treat all ashes as hot!
- Never put hot ash into a paper or plastic bag, cardboard box or other similar container. The only type of container suitable for ash storage is a metal or ceramic container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Spray water on the ash prior to attaching the metal lid to the container and allow them to completely cool outside, away from your home.
- Never store a metal ash container (with ashes in them) on a deck, in a garage, or in any location that may allow heat to transfer from the hot coals to nearby flammable items.
- Once the ash has completely cooled, only dump them in areas free of flammable vegetation.
- As an additional precaution, have a garden hose and shovel on site when you dump the ash so you can spray water and mix the ash to ensure they are completely out.
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