Welcome to the Oxnard Journal

Welcome to the Oxnard Journal

March 13, 2001

WHERE THERE'S SMOKE - THERE'S MANURE.... An unpredicted, unintentional fire erupted amongst an active storage manure pile at the Pict-Sweet Mushroom Farm on Olivas Road in unincorporated Ventura (San BuenaVentura) California. The fire began early Monday morning according to Ventura County Fire officials and the plumes of smoke eerily wafted across the 101 freeway during the morning commute.

Calls to County Agencies for health and air control netted no satisfactory results. A message left at the County Air Quality Control Board was not returned and a second call was made for which information was taken on the incident.

Monday evening rolled in as did fog-like clouds of eye-stinging smoke. Certain pockets of Oxnard were heavilly hit and other areas remained clear.

On Tuesday morning (March 13th), calls to the County Air Quality Control Board were not answered. Using a multiple-line phone, I had all eight lines calling the same 654-1400 number and all lines rang and rang with no one attending to the calls. A call to Supervisor John Flynn's office in Oxnard was answered and information taken. The lack of response of County and Ventura City offices was reported and it was then learned that Supervisor Flynn had already elevated his concerns to Assemblyman Strickland's attention. A call later Tuesday was retruned from Flynn's office to check on health concerns. The Oxnard-Journal.com has nothing but praise to offer but PRAISE for John Flynn's staff and office.

Through special circumstance, The Oxnard-Journal learned of the many efforts put out by the Federal, State, County, and local officials who responded. An Incident Command Post was established on site of the fire. The details of the fire are such:

3.1 acres of manure / 12-15 ft deep are on site

OLIVAS INCIDENT - is official title of event

Plans to accelerate the fire were considered

Plans to smother the fire were looked at but not practical

Plans Underway Currently to allow fire to burn out on it's own

- Backlash of allowing fire to burn out is the time factor

- - It will take 2-6 weeks to burn out....not good !!!!

Attempted means of extinguishing: Class A Foam & Water. (Both ineffective)

WORST SMOKE EFFECT ON OXNARD would be in early AM (and at night as observed)

KVTA Website has current Information ::: http://www.kvtaam1520.com/

// KVTA-AM 1520 was identified as VENTURA COUNTY's Emergency News Source ///

County Air Quality Control District is to set-up exclusive air monitors. Most severe air impact is from content of mulch smoke

-- 1 Part Ammonia per million plus high concentration of Carbon Dioxide

Interestingly enough, the manure used by the mushroom farm was supplied by Santa Anita Race Track near Monrovia/Arcadia/Sierra Madre.

It would also be fun to imagine if the fire was compost from magic mushroom (Psycho-Shrooms) - would that mean people from the US would come to Oxnard for WOODSTOCK III. Only if - say the pot-heads, if it were only piles of Chronic Skunk budd burning...sorry.

People with respiratory diseases and asthma should stay indoors. Use air filtration devices if needed. Persons using Oxygen should contact their supplier (Aspira et al) and have extra tanks delivered. Check filters on home electric oxygenation units and check tubes for leaks and ensure water is cleaned daily in filter. Babies and young children needed nebulizers should have adequate supplies of albuterol and other prescribed medications. If you can take a vacation or travel out of the area plan so for next week.

MORE ON THIS AS IT HAPPENS......

Bill Winter

Editor - www.oxnard-journal.com

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