Fire Fallout and Debris

Whitsell Mill Fire

The debris from the Whitsell Mill fire in Saginaw/Cottage Grove (May 27, 2018) areas spread mostly south, southwest of the fire.

Samples were collected by LRAPA and tested on May 29th, 2018 from a residential property about 100 yards from the fire. Four samples were sent in and all four came back negative for asbestos.

However, LRAPA is still encouraging people to handle the debris with caution and follow protocol as if the debris contained asbestos. There is no guarantee that other pieces of debris may contain some levels of asbestos. It is important to keep the debris pieces intact and whole as much as possible. 

More conversations with the Whitsell mill will be had in the coming days and weeks. Please call our office if you have any questions.



Civic Stadium Fire

The debris from the Civic Stadium Fire (June 29, 2015) spread through some neighborhoods and suburban areas of South Eugene. On August 5th, 2015, the nearby Southtowne Bowling Alley also caught fire and burned to the ground. If you have debris on your property, please be sure to follow the precautionary measures outlined below to dispose of the material. issue, along with links to appropriate applications. 

How is the air quality from the fire?

Our Air Quality Monitor in Amazon Park is very close to Civic Stadium and Southtowne. It picked up some increased levels of particulate matter in the hours following the Civic Stadium fire, but steady breezes helped dissipate the pollution and clear up levels. The Southtowne fire really impacted our monitors in the six hours after the fire, but by the next morning, pollution levels were down and air quality was back to healthy. People can find up to date, hourly air quality information on our air quality page. 

What do I do if I see debris on my property?

If you identify debris on your property from the fire, we recommend that you dispose of it right away. Although our tests on some of the debris came back negative for asbestos, there used to be asbestos material in the roofing of the stadium. To exercise caution, we ask the public to proceed as if the debris contained asbestos. 

You can safely dispose the material by following these simple steps:

  1. Mist the debris gently with a spray bottle. Do not use a hose!
  2. Wear rubber gloves and gently pick up the debris. Be careful that you don’t break the debris up.
  3. Place into a sealable plastic bag and double bag the debris, including the gloves used to pick up the debris.
  4. Small amounts can be thrown away in the trash or you can call the Lane County Waste Management to dispose of them at their transfer sites. (Lane County Waste Management: 541-682-4120.

What if I inhaled smoke?

Inhaling smoke is never healthy. If you are experiencing respiratory issues, please contact your doctor or health care provider.

Why are they spraying water at the stadium site after the fire is already out?

The stadium site is currently undergoing asbestos abatement. Although the levels of contaminated debris may be very low, abatement must follow strict protocol and procedure. This includes keeping the material "adequately wetted" to keep the debris intact and keep dust levels down. When asbestos fibers are wet, they will not be airborne, reducing the risk of inhalation. Until abatement is completed, sprinklers will be on timers to make sure the debris stay adequately wet and grounded.  

How is asbestos going to affect my health?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. Its fibers are harmful when they become airborne and inhaled into people’s lungs in significant amounts and generally over long periods of time and exposure. It often takes decades for symptoms of asbestos related illnesses to show. And even then, it is generally after continuous exposure and inhalation of fibers. If you follow the proper steps to dispose of the material, your risk of exposure and illness is very low.


Photo of Eugene's air quality after the Southtowne fire from Spencer's Butte. Photo credit: L. Comer 2015

LComer Photo - After the Southtowne Fire