Camarillo Mailers Warn Residents Of Health Risks After Toxic Springs Fire
CAMARILLO (CBSLA.com) — Camarillo residents are questioning the authenticity of a mailer warning of serious health risks posed to people living near the site of the Springs Fire where hazardous materials burned earlier this month.
Residents were told to stay away from billowing smoke when the blaze at Laguna Farms became a HazMat situation before it was contained nearly three weeks ago. Highly toxic pesticides and fertilizers were among chemicals burning into the air at that particular location as flames destroyed 28,000 acres in Ventura County.
Officials said air quality levels and homes were not impacted at the time of the fire.
While county and city officials have not come forward with any further information, a La Crescenta law office appears to be mailing out leaflets warning of “unseen damage”, allegations of which are unnerving some residents.
As KCAL9′S Suraya Fadel reports, the notice, printed on letterhead from Prime Law Group, offers free on-site home inspections to determine the alleged scope of contamination on properties within ten miles of the site which they believe are affected.
“Your property is located in a contamination zone. The wake of the recent Springs Fire left your community with an abundant amount of unseen damage,” reads one passage.
“The damage was caused by smoke that was emitted from the wildfires and carried over by the wind. These particles may also have a negative effect on your lungs,” it continues.
The letter also shows what its author calls microscopic images of contamination.
Ventura County Fire says it’s unfamiliar with the notice and that there are no meetings or leaflets in circulation from the city or county.
Multiple attempts to reach Prime Law Group were unsuccessful.
While the firm claims its lawyers have helped hundreds of home owners recover thousands of dollars in restoration settlements from insurance carriers, residents are wary.
“The fire’s over there, it’s not here. It’s not a problem.” Camarillo resident Drew Smith said.
Another resident said she thought the letter was a “gimmick” and that claims made by Prime Law had been “exaggerated”.
The woman did admit, however, to having lingering concerns about any lasting effects of the fire.
Experts are telling residents with concerns to ask questions, do their research and talk to their local council members as well as air pollution control and environmental health entities in their district.