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Wildfire Recovery

Wildfire Recovery

The host of emotions following a disaster can leave one feeling overwhelmed and wondering what to do next.

Wildfire recovery doesn't happen overnight. It is a steady process of assessing damage, evaluating new conditions, and deciding on what to do next. The ultimate goals of renewal, rehabilitation, and re-vegetation can be attained, but will take patience and persistence.

The journey ahead is not easy, but the information provided here will help you get started. 


  • Assess Home Damage: Check with the fire department to make sure your home is safe to enter. Be very careful when you go inside. The fire department will tell you if your utilities (water, electricity, and gas) are safe to use.

  • Secure Finances: Check with an accountant or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss. If you have insurance, contact your insurance company to learn how to keep your home safe until it is repaired. If you are not insured, try contacting community groups for aid and assistance.

  • Prepare for the futurePreventing the next fire starts as soon as the current one ends. As you begin to rebuild your home and establish your garden, look for fire-resistant building designs to minimize your risk during the next fire.



  1. Shive, Kocher (2017), Recovering from Wildfire: A Guide for California's Forest Landowners, UC Cooperative Extension
  2. Knight (2002), After Wildfire - Information for Landowners Coping with the Aftermath of Wildfire, MSU Extension Service