Returning Home After a Wildfire

Waste and Fridge/ Freezer Disposal

Curbside collection of spoiled fridges and freezers in the Adams Lake area (southwest side) is available through the TNRD. For details view the Disposal Information Package.

Returning Home Package

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has prepared an information package that contains important information about returning home after an ordered evacuation and the threat of wildfire is over.

Before You Go, Do You Have:

  • A full tank of gas?
  • Proper clothing, a flashlight and clean-up materials?
  • Enough water for the next 2 days?
  • Food for the next 2 days, including any special dietary needs?
  • Any medications you require?

When You Get There:

  • Water – Bottled water is recommended. Chlorinate all wells, if applicable for your property.
  • Hydro – If you have questions, no service or are experiencing fluctuations in electrical service quality contact BC Hydro at 1-888-769 3766 (1-888-POWERON) or *49376 on your cell phone.
  • Propane/Natural Gas – If you have concerns regarding your propane, natural gas, or oil equipment please contact your suppliers.
  • Traffic – Give way to all emergency and fire fighting vehicles.
  • Buildings – Fire damaged buildings may be a hazard. Standing chimneys are a hazard.

Returning to Your Home:

  1. Use caution and exercise good judgment when re-entering a burned fire area. Hazards may still exist, including hot spots that can flare up without warning.
  2. Watch for ash pits and mark them for safety. Ash pits are holes full of hot ashes, created by burned trees and stumps. You can be seriously burned by falling into ash pits or landing in them with your hands or feet. Warn your family and neighbours to keep clear of the pits.
  3. Inspect the roof and check for smoke and sparks throughout the home, including the attic. The winds of wildfires can blow burning embers anywhere.
  4. Take precautions while cleaning your property. You may be exposed to potential health risks from hazardous materials. Debris should be wetted down to minimize health impacts from breathing dust particles. Wear gloves, long sleeved shirts, long pants and avoid skin contact. If you do get ash on your skin, wash it off as soon as possible.
  5. Wear rubber gloves when working with plumbing fixtures, and sewer piping. They can contain high levels of bacteria. If you suspect a problem with your septic field, contact the Interior Health Authority.
  6. If you have a propane or natural gas system and smell propane or natural gas upon entering your home, contact a qualified gas fitter, turn off the valve and leave your residence until your system has been inspected. Ventilate your home.
  7. If you have a heating oil tank system, contact a heating oil supplier for an inspection of your system before using. The tank may have shifted or fallen from the stand and fuel lines may have kinked or weakened. Heat from the fire may have caused the tank to warp or bulge. Non-vented tanks are more likely to bulge or show signs of stress. The fire may have loosened or damaged fittings and filters.
  8. Visually check the stability of the trees. Any tree that has been weakened by fire may be a hazard. Winds are normally responsible for toppling weakened trees. The wind patterns in your area may have changed as a result of the loss of adjacent tree cover.
    • Look for burns on the tree trunk. If the bark on the trunk has been burned off or scorched by very high temperatures completely around the circumference, the tree will not survive. Where fire has burnt deep into the trunk, the tree should be considered unstable.
    • Look for burnt roots by probing the ground with a rod around the base of the tree and several feet away from the base. Roots are generally six to eight inches below the surface. If the roots have been burned, you should consider this tree very unstable, and it may be toppled by wind.
    • A scorched tree is one that has lost part or all its leaves or needles. Healthy deciduous trees are resilient and may produce new branches and leaves as well as sprouts at the base of the tree. Evergreen trees may survive when partially scorched. An evergreen tree that has been damaged by fire is subject to bark beetle attack. Please seek professional assistance from the BC Forest Service concerning measures for protecting evergreens from bark beetle attack.
  9. If you suffer from a respiratory illness, it may be desirable to delay your return until air quality improves.

Garbage & Recycling:

For a complete list of TNRD solid waste and recycling disposal sites, including accepted materials, hours of operation, and disposal fees, go to tnrd.ca/depothours. If you have a unique disposal challenge created as a result of being evacuated, please contact the TNRD solid waste and recycling department directly at (250)377-2596 or recycleright@tnrd.ca.

Relevant Agencies:

Interior Health – (250) 851-7300/1-866-847-4372
Health Protection Office – (250) 851-7340/1-855-744-6328
Homeowner Protection Office – 1-800-407-7757
Technical Safety BC (Gas/Electrical Inspect.) – 1-866-566-7233
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure – (250) 828-4220
Government Agent – (250) 828-4540
Front Counter BC – (250) 828-4131
BC Hydro – 1-888-769-3766
Telus – 1-888-811-2323

Contact:

Emergency Operations Centre
Thompson-Nicola Regional District
Tel.: 250-377-7188
emergency@tnrd.ca

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