Wildfire Planning

After a Fire – Returning Home
Your home may be impacted by smoke, soot and ash, chemicals, structural damage and water damage. This information is a collection of health and safety considerations and tips for various aspects of cleanup during initial work to restore your home. This document is intended to be broad-serving and not all of the information may apply to your situation.

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Air Shelters During Wildfires
There are negative health effects associated with breathing smoky air. Wildfire smoke contains particulate matter and when we breathe it into our lungs it can cause health problems. This is especially problematic in those with breathing, heart, and circulation illnesses (e.g. asthma, heart failure).

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Face Masks
The best way to protect the health of yourself and your family during smoky sky events is to seek cleaner air. You can buy a HEPA air cleaner for a room in your home, you can go to a building with a good air filtration system, or you can leave the area. If this is not practical, it may help to simply stay indoors and reduce your physical activity.

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Water and Food Quality after Returning Home
Questions about the quality of drinking water should be directed to the local water supplier (e.g., municipality, utility provider, etc.). These suppliers are best able to assess how their systems have been affected and whether there is any impact on the quality of drinking water. Community water systems where fire retardant was used in their watershed area, will have increased monitoring for changes in water quality. Public notifications will be issued if there is some level of risk or uncertainty associated with drinking water use.

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