Residents need to be aware that the areas being lifted may have very limited services. Prior to returning home, residents are encouraged to take steps to ensure they have food, water, and fuel for their vehicles.
Residents are advised not to use generators to power buildings or structures due to potential back feeding of electrical lines. Fire and utilities personnel are still actively working in the area. Please reduce speeds and drive with caution, traffic delays are to be expected.
When visiting fire-impacted areas, you will encounter dangerous conditions and will be exposed to hazardous materials. Environmental Health can provide re-entry health and safety kits at the Disaster Recovery Center. Please use these items to minimize exposure to toxic materials. Re-entry kits include:
Full body Tyvek suit
Hazard Advisory & Health and Safety Precautions
Once your visit is complete, discard items from the re-entry kit in the plastic bag provided and leave the bag on your property. The bag will be removed by hazardous waste and debris removal professionals.
Building inspectors have inspected homes in the fire affected area that appear to have damage on the exterior. Based on the level of damage identified, your home may have a green, yellow or red placard. Please read your placard carefully to understand the damage assessment and level of occupancy safety determined. Homes that are free of exterior damage have not been inspected and should be approached with caution. You are advised that toxic ash and debris may still be in and around your home and property.
If your home has not been destroyed by the fire and does not have visible exterior damage, then you may occupy the home at your own risk. If your home is in close proximity to destroyed property containing hazardous debris and ash, including outbuildings on your property, you are urged to review the Health and Safety Precautions for entering a fire-impacted area. Home owners are advised to get a professional smoke damage inspection to assess the level of indoor exposure and identify how to safely remove the smoke damage.
People with chronic health and respiratory conditions, older adults, pregnant women, and children should exercise special caution because they may be more susceptible to health effects from the debris and ash. Do not allow children to play in ash. Wash and clean all children’s toys carefully after possible contamination. Children should not be in the vicinity while cleanup is in progress. Even if care is exercised, it is easy to stir up ash that may contain hazardous substances. If you choose to allow your children to play outside, please keep them under close supervision as their exploratory nature may result in direct contact with contaminated materials.