What to Do & Not Do When You Get Home After a Wildfire

What to do and not do when you get home after a wildfireIt’s been a rough week for both Northern and Southern California, with deadly wildfires (see them on maps here) and the senseless murders in Thousand Oaks. I live near LAX in Manhattan Beach, which is at least 20 miles from the closest fires, and I could still see the Malibu fires the other night. It’s insane.

Since so many people have been affected by the fires (with over 250,000 ordered to evacuate in Southern California as of this morning), I thought that today’s tip would be a good chance to spread the word of Cal Fire and the L.A. County Department of Public Health, which both have dos and don’ts for people moving back home after evacuating.

As noted by LAist, “Cal Fire suggests checking for fire on the way back to your home. Then, checking for embers or dangers from utilities outside and inside of your home. If you find fires during your checks, Cal Fire says to call 911 immediately. Once you’re done checking for dangers to your safety, here are some examples of what to do, and what not to do as you clean up:


  • Wear a mask rated N-95 or better while cleaning up. We rated the most effective-and ineffective-masks to combat air pollution.
  • Walk carefully. When ash gets wet, it can be slippery.
  • Check for embers. Cal Fire suggests looking in the attic, rain gutters, on the roof, under decks, in crawlspaces and in any piles of debris for embers that might’ve floated in.
  • Give your pets a bath to get rid of ash.
  • Put on gloves, long pants and a long sleeve shirt.


  • Don’t turn on your electricity if you see any damage to your meter.
  • Don’t try to fix any damaged gas meters, gas lines or propane tanks. Instead, Cal Fire says to call your local utility provider.
  • Don’t touch any downed wires. Again, call your utility provider.
  • …”

See the full story on LAist here, and see the Department of Public Health’s complete list here. We’re thinking of everyone affected.



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Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

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