TRABUCO CANYON, CA (FOX 11) - Little grey flakes of ash. Were they on your car when you got up to go to work? They used to be vegetation on hillsides. But, when the Holy Fire chewed them up in Orange County and the Inland Empire, up in smoke they went and traveled for many many miles!
Eric Ly tells FOX 11, "It was all over my car this morning. I saw it yesterday too, but I saw a little more today so I decided to come in and get my car washed." He was one of many people we found at the Mission Car Wash in Huntington Park.
There was also a dusting of ash on new cars at Alhambra Nissan. The idea is to sell them looking nice and shiny right?
Steffy Li, in the dealerships Finance Department told us, "People really care about their first impression so, when we see that the car is dirty its not as attractive as it would if it were clean so, we have to make sure they like it as the first time that the look at it."
But, there's more than meets the eye to these flaky remnants of the Holy Fire. Its impossible to determine the parts per million that became airborne, but Pasadena Batallion Chief Wendell Eaton says, "We kinda go with an attitude of if you can see it it's probably not healthy to be breaking it so you should probably stay in inside and limit your outdoor activity."
Eaton says there are some important things to think about when it comes to this stuff that looks like little gray snowflakes. For instance, he says, "Products of combustion are known carcinogens and although the amount that we are consuming or being exposed to is a very small amount any exposure that we can reduce is beneficial."
Eaton also says, "People probably see a layer of ash on their pools. They probably see ash on their cars on their patio furniture, You want to go ahead and rinse those things down. It's not healthy to come in contact with this material for a long period of time. And, also remember your pets. You might want to wipe your pets feet off before they come in the house if they've got ash on them."