Local health emergency declared due to Dixie Fire

The Lassen County Board of Supervisors confirmed and ratified a Proclamation of Local Health Emergency in Lassen County due to the Dixie Fire.

“As of Aug. 17,2021, the Dixie Fire has destroyed or damaged homes and other structures in Lassen County. A damage assessment and count of the amount of structures cannot be done at this time because of extreme and hazardous fire behavior,” read the Declaration of a local health emergency from Lassen County Health Officer Dr. Kenneth Korver.

“The Dixie Fire is creating a significant amount of debris that will contain hazardous materials in the ash from burned structures which has created a health emergency and poses a substantial present and future hazard to human health and safety and to the environment unless it is addressed and managed,” it continued.  “There is an imminent and proximate threat of exposure to partially respirable- size particulate matter, possible infection or communicable disease exposure to biologic agents due to combustion of animal carcasses, possible accumulation of perishable foods and other organic materials that normally require refrigeration but have been left to spoil due to lack of electricity, and potential pollution of nearby surface water.”

Moreover, the declaration read, “the seasonal thunderstorms and inclement weather could spread the hazardous material in the ash of the burned structures and could thereby pollute and Contaminate surface water and the domestic water supplies of the affected areas of Lassen County.”

The Declaration was signed by Korver Aug. 18, and confirmed by the Lassen Board of Supervisors during the Aug. 24 board meeting as part of the information and consent calendar.