Hot ashes are extremely dangerous. Many people assume the risk of fire disappears as the flames die down, but even after several days of your last fire the wood ashes retain enough heat to ignite a forest fire, house fire, or other combustible materials in your trash can if improperly disposed. Special steps need to be taken after the fire has burned out in order to protect your family and the community.
Follow these steps to keep everyone safe:
- Carefully empty the hot ashes into a metal container that can be closed tightly with a metal lid;
- Douse the ashes with water and cover the lid securely;
- Store the covered container in a safe place outside of your house and away from wind and other ignitable or combustible items. Do not dispose of hot ashes in plastic, paper, or cardboard;
- Leave ashes in the container for several days to cool completely;
- Once the ashes have cooled completely, you can place them in a plastic bag, tie it securely, and dispose of it in your curbside trash can or at a County solid waste transfer station. The Eldorado, Nambe, La Cienega, and Jacona transfer stations have special ash boxes for your convenience.
If the steps are not followed, you may be putting your family and community at risk. Houses have burned, garbage trucks have caught on fire, and people have been seriously hurt. If you are not positive if the ashes are completely cool, just wait longer…it might save a life.
For more information on hot ash disposal and fire prevention, please contact:
Santa Fe Fire Department – 955-3310
SFSWMA – 424-1850
City – 955-2200
County – 992-3010