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Advisory: How to clean up fire retardantTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Applying retardant near Chadron, Saturday.

TUESDAY MORNING - The West Ash fire south of Chadron is 65 percent contained after burning 58,450 acres, officials said as they advised people how to clean up flame retardant.

Some retardant was dropped from an airplane tanker on homes near the city of Chadron.

Fire fighters are focusing on patrol and mop-up in burned areas, as well as rehabilitation of dozer and fire lines in areas that are still burning, said Beth Hermanson of the Rocky Mountain Emergency Management Agency.

The Douthit fire northwest of the West Ash fire remians 95 percent contained, after burning 29,730 acres, Hermanson said.

As residents return home after evacuations, they may find their homes and lawns have been impacted by fire retardant.

Fire retardants are primarily water-based and have the approval of the U.S. Forest Service.

Hermanson's recommendations for clean up are:

Dry retardant may require some scrubbing with water or power washing. A mild soap may also be used to help remove the retardant. Allow the surface to dry fully and repeat as needed to ensure that play structures and surfacing is free of retardant.

Once washed off, allow a few days for sunlight to help break down the remaining chemical compounds and allow the fire retardant to be absorbed into the ground.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 9/4/2012
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