Crews try to contain toxic Camp Fire ash and keep it from spreading into the environment

PARADISE, Calif. (KGO) -- The rain is not good news for the thousands of people left homeless by the Camp Fire or for the environment. When a home burns, it leaves behind a large amount of toxic ash and debris. Right now, crews In Butte County are trying to make sure the rain doesn't spread contaminated ash into the environment.

On Tuesday, the Department of Water Resources rolled out wattles, long nets filled with hay, to hopefully stabilize the compromised banks of Butte Creek and prevent erosion from properties on the hill above.

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"There's a lot of stuff that's going to wash down the hill and were trying to keep most of it out of the creek," said Kevin Moncrief, an environmental scientist with D.W.R.

Moncrief says they're laying out hundreds of wattles in hopes of protecting the newly laid Chinook salmon eggs that are in the gravel on the creek bed.

"If all of this stuff is washing into the creek and just burying those egg beds, there's potential for those eggs not to be able to emerge," said Moncrief who adds that it's critically important to protect the salmon. "It's a keystone species in the overall ecosystem. It brings a lot of nutrients from the ocean-- and just feeds the rest of the animals and plants."

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Crews have also been working hard to vacuum out storm drains filled with fire debris.

They're also putting out sandbags in areas and hundreds of wattles to prevent the toxic ash from spreading.

See more stories, photos and videos on the Camp Fire in Butte County.
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