Wildfires Damage Southern California Water Quality

Beaches across the state are closing beaches fearing toxic runoff and debris

Beaches across the state are closing beaches fearing toxic runoff and debris

Rainfall in Southern California following a series of destructive wildfires has raised questions of water quality. Officials worry that the rainfall carried ash, toxins and debris through local streams and fed into the Pacific Ocean.

Ventura County officials have issued a 72-hour warning against entering ocean waters recreationally. Further south in San Diego, the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health closed beaches from Border Field State Park to Imperial Beach, fearing contaminants from the Tijuana River.

“It’s not your typical river where it’s just storm water, maybe car oil. We’re up against bacterial, viral pathogens, toxic waste, chemicals, you name it. We’re getting pummeled,” Paloma Aguirre, coastal director with the nonprofit Wildcoast, told the San Diego Union-Tribune

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