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Citizens search for truth about radiation as CA wildfire ends

The Woolsey fire in California was 100% contained as of November 21 after burning for nearly two weeks.

In the wake of the Woolsey fire, people in areas surrounding the contaminated Santa Susanna Field Laboratory site (SSFL) -- just north of Los Angeles -- are worried that chemical and radioactive pollution may have been carried offsite by fire currents and smoke.

During the fire, the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) did not warn the public and fire fighters that smoke from the fire could be carrying radioactive particles from the site. The DTSC "believed" there was no danger but refused to make public the methods used, and results of, any testing they have done. Now the public is seeking the truth from more trustworthy sources.

Fairewinds Energy Education has released protocols (download here) for collecting environmental specimens to be analyzed for radionuclide content. They are asking that samples be gathered within 100 miles of SSFL and/or the Woolsey fire and its smoke. At present, we do not know whether the Woolsey fire carried radionuclides offsite, or what the current contents of dusts and soils are. Instructions for collecting, cataloging and shipping specimens are included as well as how to get additional information or answers to your sampling questions.

Please sign the petition to clean up SSFL if you haven't already.

Listen to the latest Nuclear Hotseat episode #388.

Get more background on the Woolsey and Chernobyl wildfires.

Listen to Beyond Nuclear's Cindy Folkers interview on SSFL and radiation dangers.

Also see Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists article on the Santa Susanna fire.