Emergency Preparedness and Response: Wildfires

After the Fire

Once a wildfire has subsided, there is often a lot to do to clean up and repair the damage. The resources on this page will guide you through the considerations and steps that people in areas affected by wildfires will face.  |  Una vez que un incendio forestal ha remitido, a menudo queda mucho por hacer para limpiar y reparar el daño. Los recursos de esta página lo guiarán a través de las consideraciones y los pasos que deberán afrontar las personas que se encuentren en áreas afectadas por incendios forestales.

Reoccupying Homes

These resources include guides and checklists for residents returning home after a fire, a process that involves cleaning up and addressing any damage to the home but also protecting your physical and mental health.  |  Estos recursos incluyen guías y listas de verificación para los residentes que regresan a casa después de un incendio, un proceso que implica limpiar y abordar cualquier daño a la casa, pero también proteger su salud física y mental.

Returning to Your Home
Alberta Health Services provides this guide which covers steps for wearing protective clothing when returning home, reentering your home safely, using water safely, and cleaning up your home, including disposing of spoiled food and interior and exterior surfaces. [pdf; Alberta Health Services, 2016]

Returning Home After a Wildfire
Use this checklist to check the interior, exterior, and surrounding property for damage and hazards after a fire. [pdf; Cal Fire]

After the Fire!
FEMA outlines steps for after a house fire, including interacting with the fire department and replacing valuable documents and records. This document includes a checklist. [pdf; FEMA, 2012]

Picking Up the Pieces After a Fire
This document includes advice about recovering emotionally, checking utilities, and recovering financially. [pdf; American Red Cross, 2003]

[Esp] Después de un incendio
Esta publicación de FEMA en español describe los pasos a seguir después de un incendio en una casa, incluida la interacción con el departamento de bomberos y el reemplazo de documentos y registros valiosos. [enlace; FEMA, 2019]  |  This Spanish-language FEMA publication outlines steps to take after a house fire, including interacting with the fire department and replacing valuable documents and records. [pdf; FEMA, 2019]

Ash Exposure After Fires

Even after a fire is over, lingering ash can pose health risks and needs to be removed properly. These resources will guide you through that process safely.  |  Incluso después de que termina un incendio, las cenizas persistentes pueden representar riesgos para la salud y deben eliminarse adecuadamente. Estos recursos lo guiarán a través de ese proceso de manera segura.

Indoor Air Quality After a Wildfire
This document includes recommended tips for removing smoke, ash, and soot from homes and some frequently asked questions. [pdf; State of Colorado]

Protect Yourself from Ash
This document provides guidelines for reducing exposure to ash after a fire, including during cleanup. [pdf; EPA]

Protect Your Lungs from Wildfire Smoke or Ash
This guidance provides more detail on using a respirator properly. [pdf; EPA]

Reduce Exposure to Ash When Returning Home After a Fire
This publication from the California Department of Public Health lists tips for reduce exposure to ash, including when working outside to clean up the area. [pdf; CDPH, 2017]

Caution: Fire Ash in Home Gardens
This document covers suggestions for dealing with ash and debris from fire in gardens. [pdf; CDPH, 2017]

[Esp] Reduzca la exposición a las cenizas al regresar a casa después de un incendio 
Esta publicación enumera consejos para reducir la exposición a las cenizas, incluso cuando se trabaja al aire libre para limpiar el área. [pdf; CDPH, 2017]  |  A Spanish version of Reduce Exposure to Ash When Returning Home After a Fire, this publication lists tips for reduce exposure to ash, including when working outside to clean up the area. [pdf; CDPH, 2017]

[Esp] Precaución: La ceniza de incendios en jardines caseros
Esta publicación del Departamento de Salud Pública de California cubre sugerencias para lidiar con las cenizas y los escombros del fuego en los jardines. [pdf: CDPH, 2017]  |  A Spanish-language version of Caution: Fire Ash in Home Gardens, this publication covers suggestions for dealing with ash and debris from fire in gardens. [pdf; CDPH, 2017]

Repairing and Rebuilding Homes

These resources are for homes with more serious construction and rebuilding needs after a wildfire, whether you are conducting the work yourself or hiring someone to do it. There are also steps you can take to improve your property to mitigate wildfire risk.  |  Estos recursos son para hogares con necesidades de construcción y reconstrucción más serias después de un incendio forestal, ya sea que esté realizando el trabajo usted mismo o contratando a alguien para que lo haga. También hay pasos que puede tomar para mejorar su propiedad y mitigar el riesgo de incendios forestales.

Home Builder’s Guide to Construction in Wildfire Zones
This is a series of technical fact sheets about construction in wildfire zones, including selecting a location, defensible space, various parts of the house, and community infrastructure. [pdf; FEMA, 2008]

Homeowner’s Wildfire Mitigation Guide
The University of California hosts this site. Navigate using the sidebar to read about mitigation strategies for roofs, vents, the side of the house, and the surrounding area. The site also includes checklists and publications with more information. [url; University of California]

Wildfire Home Assessment & Checklist
This guide includes information on wildfire mitigation options and a checklist of steps homeowners can use to assess and improve their property. [pdf; Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety]

After the Damage – Who Should Remove the Water?
The Maryland Attorney General’s office provides a brochure about the steps for hiring a restoration company for a home with extensive water damage. [pdf; Maryland Attorney General’s Office]

How to Prepare for a Wildfire
This guide covers how to prepare your property to mitigate fires, as well as being ready for evacuation. [pdf; FEMA]

Firewise USA
Firewise USA is a program for residents to learn about and organize around reducing wildfire risks. Resources available include blogs and eLearning courses. [url; National Fire Protection Agency]