Mi-Wuk Village, CA – With the winter chill upon the Mother Lode many are igniting fireplaces and wood stoves to keep warm, but fire officials warn — be careful when getting rid of the ashes.
As previously reported, this week a garage at a Mi-Wuk Village home on the 24000 block of Lama Hisum Road near Aselu Court went up in flames. Mi-Wuk Sugar Pine Fire Protection District Fire Chief Larry Crabtree notes that ashes put near a stack of firewood sparked the blaze. He cautions, “Take them [ashes] outside put them on the ground or on cement where they are not near anything combustible. I recommend you leave them there until its ready to clean out the fire place or stove again then they should have cooled down and will be safe to put them in a garbage can.”
The key is to remember that the embers can smolder for days. Chief Crabtree warns, “Never put them in anything that is combustible like a plastic can or bucket. Make sure the ashes are cold by stirring them with a stick or fire poker to make sure the middle is cool before throwing them in the trash.” Additionally, Crabtree cautions against putting ash containers on carpeting, wood or plastic decks and stairs.
Another reason to be careful with ashes, Chief Crabtree estimates the fire damage to that Mi-Wuk home at $15,000.