Ash Removal


All plant and machinery used in clean-up activities will likely need to be serviced on a more frequent schedule to lower the wearing effects of abrasive ash particles. For example, cleaning and lubrication, and changes in oil, oil filter, and air filter. For further information refer to vehicle damage and maintenance. In addition, equipment that is not being used in clean-up operations should be sealed or covered in order to prevent ash from infiltrating the equipment.

Power insulator cleanup

For advice on ash removal for power insulator refer to ash removal guidelines for insulators.

Fire hoses and equipment

During ash cleanup activities after the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens, local fire departments loaned hoses to volunteers, public works employees, and others unfamiliar with the proper use and care of the equipment. In the process, many departments lost many hoses, especially the lighter, single-jacketed hoses, and hoses were returned damaged after they were unnecessarily dragged over the ground. Because of this mishandling, the fire-fighting capability was lost and the replacement of equipment significantly added to the cost of cleanup. To prevent this, the following recommendations are offered by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, 1984):

  • Make certain fire fighters are present to ensure the proper protection of hoses and hydrants.
  • Avoid distribution of fire hoses to citizen groups and other non-fire employees unless they are supervised and instructed in their use and the use of hydrants.
  • Use only hoses designed for outdoor use.
  • Do not drag hoses over pavement any more than is absolutely necessary.


See Also:
Transportation > Vehicles
Power Supply > Removal from Insulators