Learn how to stay safe when returning home after a disaster and access resources to help you rebuild your life.
If your home was affected by a wildfire, do not return home until authorities say it is safe. Your County Sheriff’s office will provide notification of when the evacuation orders are lifted and it is safe to return to homes. Notifications may also be sent via FlashAlert and PublicAlerts - make sure you are signed up!
USE EXTREME CAUTION
Return During Daylight Hours
- Use TripCheck to monitor road closures and traffic conditions. Watch for broken traffic lights and missing street signs. Watch out for debris on the road.
Before Entering Your Home
- Look for downed power lines, damaged trees, smoldering holes, and embers that could reignite. Use extreme caution around damaged buildings.
- Check for the smell of gas. If you smell natural gas, leave the area and call your natural gas provider. If your gas is already off, do not turn it back on. Call your provider to check your appliances and relight your equipment safely.
- Call your insurance company. They may ask you to take photos of the damage. Do not enter the building until you are certain it is safe to do so.
Debris Cleanup & Disposal
- For everyone’s safety, wait to begin cleanup. Fire debris, smoke, and ash can be extremely hazardous for you and for disposal workers. Many homes contain toxic chemicals like pesticides, cleaning products, motor oil, and paint. Older homes may have asbestos. Some homes have septic systems. There may be electrical or structural hazards. You will need to consult with your insurance company and get a professional to help you assess damage and hazards.
- There are very specific rules for debris disposal. Local disposal locations may not yet be ready to accept burned materials or ash. Please do not take debris anywhere before confirming that it is okay to do so.
- Before you do any cleanup or disposal, check Metro’s fire cleanup and Oregon DEQ websites for the most up-to-date information and safety instructions. DEQ will be able to help you figure out next steps and share a list of contractors to assess hazards.
Is My Water Safe?
- Learn About Your Water (for Portland Metro Region)
- Active drinking water advisories map (Oregon)
- Well water information
- Returning to a Home that Survived a Wildfire (Oregon DEQ)
- How to Remove Smoke Smell From a Home (Extension Service)
- Cleaning Up After a Fire (Red Cross)
211 can help you find food, shelter, utility assistance, healthcare, behavior health, childcare, or other services.
- Visit 211info.org
- Call 2-1-1 or 1-866-698-6155 (interpreters available in over 240 languages)
- TTY dial 711 and call 1-866-698-6155
- Text your zip code to 898211 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (English & Spanish)
- Email Help@211info.org (English & Spanish)
- Wildfire Insurance Resources (Oregon Division of Financial Regulation)
- Filing a homeowners claim after the fire
- FEMA Disaster Assistance: Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585
- U.S. Small Business Administration: Call 1-800-659-2955 (loans for homeowners, renters, and businesses)
- Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services
- Oregon Small Business Navigator Hotline: Call 833-604-0880 (interpreters available)
- Home Repair Loans and Home Accessibility Grants (for Clackamas County)
- Oregon Unemployment
Food and Healthcare
- Food Pantries
- Oregon health insurance marketplace (enrollment info for those affected by wildfires)
- Coordinated Care Organizations: Call 800-273-0557 (replacement prescriptions and medical equipment for those on OHP)
- Oregon Prescription Drug Program: (discounts to uninsured and under-insured)
- Vital Records (certificates of birth, death, marriage, etc.)
- Department of Motorized Vehicles (driver license, ID card, titles, etc.)
- Commerce and Compliance Division
After a wildfire, you may feel a mix of emotions as a reaction to the stress. Please reach out for support if you are having trouble coping.
- Disaster Distress Hotline: Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
- Lines for Life: Call 1-800-273-8255 (Drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and thoughts of suicide)
- Oregon Behavioral Health Support Line: Call 1-800-923-HELP (4357)
- Oregon YouthLine: Call 1-877-968-8491, text Teen2Teen to 839863, or email Teen2Teen@linesforlife.org
- Clackamas County Mental Health Connection: Call 503-655-8585 10am-5pm Monday-Friday
- Clackamas Senior Loneliness Line: Call 1-800-273-8255
For more resources, visit wildfire.oregon.gov. The site is updated regularly as new information is available.