Stay Safe After the Flames

"Have you had enough? Cause there's more." post wildfire GIF

You prepared your house and got out safely. Good work! Now, it’s time to go back home. But flames were only part of the wildfire danger! Keep safety mode activated.

First and foremost, do not go home until the authorities say it’s safe to do so. Don’t go back just because it looks like the fire has passed. Wait for the green light from the experts. You are smart, but smart people do dumb things all the time, so let’s play it safe.

Once the authorities give you the okay, proceed with caution.

Rule of Thumb

If you have kids, don’t bring them with you on the first trip home. Pump the brakes and you might save them some trauma.

Outside your house, keep an eye out for anything that might have been damaged by the fire or could reignite:

  • Trees that look like they could fall.
  • Unstable power poles or downed lines.
  • Ash pits: tree roots that have burned down to hot ash. You don’t want to step into this hole of burnination.
  • Hot embers in your gutters or on your roof that could reignite your house.

If things are okay outside, go inside cautiously. Always wear leather gloves and thick-soled shoes when reentering a home after a fire. There could be leftover hot spots.

Regardless of your home’s apparent condition, if you were evacuated due a wildfire, do a thorough check. Examine your house for ashes or smoldering surfaces that could reignite, especially in the attic. If you see any smoke in the attic, leave the house and call 911 right away! There’s a good chance there’s still a fire that could set your whole house ablaze.

Hopefully, all will be well, and you can forget about wildfires for a least a few days. But if you’re in California, get ready for fire season to last all year! Thanks, global warming!

residential neighborhood staying safe post wildfire
Seems peaceful, but what about those tiny embers lurking in the gutters?

Speaking of smoke, that reminds me of an old friend.

About the Authors

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.

Katherine Esperanza is a Los Angeles based writer. When she's not conjuring new queer slice-of-life short stories, she's busy watching the newest films, out at queer shows, supporting queer artists, or just checking out the queer community as a whole.

A former international non-profiteer, small business owner, and co-op'er, Katherine is delighted to help introduce more leftist politics into the disaster preparedness/prepper sphere, which is currently far too right-wing.