“A week ago, our bird bath was clean, and then it was just black,” she said. “It was just sludge inside the bird bath, so you know you are breathing all that in, and that’s not good.”
She suffers from bronchitis, which she said is aggravated when winds kick up the ash. Raghavachary also worries about the health of her 5-year-old twins.
Glendale city officials have also received numerous calls from residents about the ash, city Public Works Director Steve Zurn said.
“There is definitely a lot of ash,” he said. “We really haven’t had any strong winds, yet people are getting it because it’s blowing through the canyons and it’s blowing from other areas.”
Residents as far south as Glendale Community College have regularly seen ash on their properties, now more than a month after the Station fire moved beyond La Cañada Flintridge.
Glendale officials have relied heavily on the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Geological Survey for information about the ash, Zurn said, as residents complain of irritated eyes and noses.
Much of the irritation is due to the composition of the ash, which is more acidic than usual because of the way the Station fire burned.
“We were told because of the way the fire burned very slow, very thorough [and] it wasn’t wind driven that ash created have very high alkalinity, and it’s very caustic, so some of the things that we had recommended was that during Santa Ana conditions you should restrict your strenuous outdoor activities,” Zurn said.
The U.S. Forest Service has recommended that residents continually clean up the ash, and city officials have warned that Santa Ana winds are likely to come before the rain.