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What to do with the ashes in your fireplace, wood stove or fire pit

Hot Ash Safety Fact Sheet

Improper ash disposal has become a common cause of many forest fires. Wood ashes retain enough heat to ignite other combustible materials for several days. Forestry officials caution homeowners about this serious threat to the safety of their families and homes. Improper ash disposals have already destroyed homes, outbuildings and valuable resources this fall. Please be careful!!!

What can you do to prevent forest and field fires from igniting from hot wood ash?

  • Dispose of wood ashes in a metal container that can be tightly closed, douse with water, place the closed container outside your home away from combustible materials and leave in the container for several days before disposing of them. (Did you know that many people dispose of their wood stove ashes in garbage containers that are often plastic or even paper bags? It doesn’t take much heat for these types of containers to burst into flames.)
  • Teach other family members about the dangers associated with hot ash disposal
  • Be careful with ashes around areas you might not consider as combustible during wetter times such as mulched flowerbeds and lawns that are drought stricken.
  • Do Not place hot ashes in a dumpster where there are certainly other combustible materials
  • Do Not dispose of ashes in a paper, plastic or cardboard containers
  • Do Not assume the ashes are cold and pour them onto the ground (even into a hole) where leaves can blow onto them or the wind can stir up sparks.

A cord of wood produces about 50 pounds of ashes, which can be used for many other purposes. Once you are POSITIVE your container of ashes is “Cold”, place in a pile and prepare your container for the next load. Lets all enjoy the winter season and our beautiful community safely and responsibly.  Thank you.