Tetanus added to list of health hazards in Boulder fire cleanup

Marshall Fire

Daniel Peers looks through the snow covered remains of his brother’s burned homes after the Marshall Wildfire Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, in Louisville, Colo. An overnight dumping of snow and frigid temperatures compounded the misery of hundreds of Colorado residents who started off the new year trying to salvage what remains of their homes after a wind-whipped wildfire tore through the Denver suburbs. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – Health officials warn evacuees returning to the Boulder fire burn area that they should get a tetanus shot as they clean up hazardous materials.

There is “significant risk” of getting tetanus when cleaning up after the Marshall Fire, health officials said. Boulder County Public Health is providing tetanus, COVID-19 and flu vaccines for evacuees who are going back to assess damage to their property.

Returning residents can get those vaccinations at the Disaster Assistance Center, 1755 S. Public Rd. in Lafayette, on Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Authorities say a tetanus vaccination is highly recommended for all residents returning to the burn area who have not had a documented dose within the past 10 years.

Tetanus is one of several health risks officials have named as potentially harmful in the cleanup efforts for the Marshall Fire. The ash and debris left behind also contain toxins, including heavy metals and asbestos. Smoke odors also are an issue.

Public health officials are strongly suggesting residents allow professionals to clean up debris. Boulder County is helping with debris removal through a program. Anyone wishing to sign up for the debris-removal program can do so at the Disaster Assistance Center.

Find ongoing updates about the Marshall Fire here.

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