Skip to main content

The Colorado Wildfires and Hazardous Materials Clean-up

Colorado Wildfires leave behind potentially hazardous clean-up issuesHazardous Materials from the homes burned in the Colorado Wildfires

Clean-up from the Colorado wildfires of this summer and fall is not as straightforward or simple as you might think. Materials used in not only home construction, but also within the home, can be extremely hazardous after a fire.

For example, car batteries or mercury light bulbs, lead-based paint, plastic items and other potentially toxic materials may have been present in the buildings prior to the fire. People should take precautions when entering buildings that are partially damaged by the fire or when handling any materials from buildings completely destroyed by the fire. They should wear protective clothing and equipment to avoid skin contact with debris and inhalation of ash.

Handling debris from structures damaged or destroyed by wildfires poses the possible exposure to asbestos fibers. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and exposure to asbestos fibers can cause or contribute to the development of various diseases including asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. Asbestos fibers have been commonly used in a variety of building materials including wall and ceiling textures, drywall, insulation, sheet vinyl flooring and floor tiles.

Disposal of such materials is also illegal. There are only certain landfill locations throughout the State that allow for such materials and hefty fines can be levied against “polluters” that do not follow proper steps during clean-up.

Please contact KK Environmental Services for licensed and professional clean up services.

Download the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Guidlines (PDF)