La Quinta a "contamination zone"?

LA QUINTA, Calif. - The Silver Fire burned 20 thousand acres near Banning, including 26 homes.

The fire was fully contained more than a month ago, but a Santa Ana based law firm is now sending out mailings to residents as far east as La Quinta, saying they live in a contamination zone with unseen damage from the Silver Fire.

The smoke from the Silver Fire blew into the valley August 7th, bringing with it soot and ash that lingered for days.

Wind and rain have long since cleared the air, and some residents feel the law firms letter is designed to give home owners a scare.

"It kind of gives me a little concern," said Dan Robles of La Quinta. "What contamination, or what happened? Or what am I looking for as far as something to be worried about."

Robles doesn't think of his La Quinta neighborhood as a contamination zone, but Prime Law Group tells him it is. The mailing says the Silver Fire left the community with an abundant amount of "unseen damage." 

"I think that's crazy," Marci Wallace said. "There's no way we're in a contamination zone. It's not like we haven't had fires before and we haven't had to deal with this before."

The letter offers a free home inspection to help determine the scope of contamination to a property. Prime Law Group cites examples of 30 thousand dollar settlements with insurance companies.

We called Prime Law Group to ask how they've determined the La Quinta neighborhood more than 40 miles from the fire was a contamination zone. They said they use licensed hygienists to take samples in an area before mailing solicitations to inspect a home.

Manny Torres says the rain washed whatever the fire brought with it off his property, and he has no interest in filing a claim.

"I don't feel any threat at all," Torres said. "There is absolutely no concern on my part. Like I said, everything washed away. The house cleared out."

"Oh no. I don't think about it at all anymore," Wallace adds. "It was an easy cleanup. There wasn't that much to it. So, we really weren't affected very much."

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