Returning home after a wildfire

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Learn some of the actions to take when returning to your home after a wildfire. 

Wildfires can be devastating to both the land and human health. Take caution when returning home after a wildfire, only do so when authorities deem it’s safe to do so.

Use caution 

  • Continue to listen to news updates for information about the fire. 
  • Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Use caution when re-entering a burned area 
  • Check the roof, exterior areas, attic, and throughout your home for sparks and embers.

Seek support and guidance

  • Visit FEMA/ for more information regarding wildfires after an emergency. 
  • Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the American Red Cross, if you need someplace to stay, food, water, or medicine.
  • Contact your insurance company to file a claim and update your coverage if your home experiences damage.
  • Photograph any damage for records
  • Consider local support groups, they can provide much-needed help, both physically and emotionally.

Property rehabilitation

Wildfires can cause changes to the soil and the surrounding area which can result in mudslides, sinkholes, or other changes to the landscape, as well as down trees and power lines. 

  • Remove debris in and near culverts and cross drains. This includes rocks, grass clippings, decking, structures, vegetation, fences across draws, etc. 
  • When walking your property, look for items that may potentially plug stream channels and/or culverts, particularly at road crossings. Additional runoff may cause channels to shift, creating additional streambank erosion. 

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