Information on the Governor's Executive Orders

and Curfew 

Health and Safety Tips for Wildfire Ash Cleanup

Post Date:10/29/2020 1:44 pm

The recent wildfires in Orange County have deposited large amounts of ash and soot on indoor and outdoor surfaces, which can pose risks to health and environmental quality. Here are some tips to clean up safely: 

Around the Home

  • In most cases, gently sweeping indoor and outdoor hard surfaces followed by wet mopping is the best way to clean up ash residue. A damp cloth or wet mop may be all that is needed on lightly dusted areas.
  • If you wet down ash, use as little water as possible and push wash water into a vegetated area -- NOT into the storm drain.
  • If you have solar panels, clean them as soon as possible, as ash can severely reduce the solar energy output. Simply wash the ash off with air or water. Do not use a pressure washer. If fires continue, you may need to clean your solar panels more than once.
  • DO NOT USE LEAF BLOWERS under any circumstances as they blow fine particles around and create more health concerns.
  • Avoid circulating ash into the air as much as possible by using a HEPA filter vacuum. Do not use shop vacuums and other non-HEPA filter vacuums, as they do not filter out small particles and can blow particles into the air.
  • Well-fitting dust masks may provide some protection during cleanup. Masks rated N-95 or P-100 are more effective than simpler dust or surgical masks. However, wearing a dust mask can significantly reduce (but not completely eliminate) the amount of particles that are inhaled.

Avoid possible health issues

Ash from forest fires is relatively nontoxic; however, all ash contains small amounts of cancer-causing chemicals. Fire ash may also irritate the skin, nose, throat and lungs.

  • Do not allow children to play in the burn debris or ash areas.
  • Wash ash from toys and play equipment before allowing children to play with them.
  • Wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants when cleaning ash, and avoid skin contact. If ash does get on your skin, wash it off as soon as possible.
  • If you have a vegetable garden or fruit trees, wash the fruit or vegetables thoroughly before eating them.
  • Do not consume any food, beverages, or medication that has been exposed to burn debris or ash.
  • Clean all utensils, glasses, and dishware before use that may have been exposed.
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COVID-19 Coronavirus

The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now been detected globally. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

The City of Newport Beach is working with federal, state, and local partners including the CDC, the OC Health Care Agency (OCHCA), and health care providers to prepare and appropriately care for people who may be at risk for illness associated with COVID-19 or who have tested positive for COVID-19. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we will share more as we are updated from our colleagues at the local, state and/or federal level.

Help Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus

  • The Governor of California enacted an Executive Order for all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence except for essential needs
  • It is imperative for everyone to practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet away from others when performing essential need activities outside of your homes.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick with influenza, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to limit spreading the infection.
  • For more information, please visit the following websites:


Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • What is the Coronavirus?

  • How does the Coronavirus Spread?

  • What should the community do?

  • I have more specific COVID-19 questions. What other resources are available with information?