Goodwin Fire evacuations: 12 items to check when returning home from fire

Posted at 1:00 PM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 16:00:15-04

Residents of Mayer have been allowed to return home after being evacuated from the Goodwin Fire. 

RELATED: Latest information about Goodwin Fire evacuations

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Many residents are still evacuated, but when you are able to return home, Yavapai County has some tips: 

• Food Safety: Since electric power may have been off for at least two days, certain refrigerated foods may need to be thrown out:

All leftovers or cooked foods, raw meats, and lunchmeats
Any dairy products including cheeses, eggs, seed sprouts, cut melons
Prepared foods such as store-bought deli salads
You can safely keep things like ketchup, mustard, jams/jellies, store bought salad dressing and pickles/relish. Be sure to check fruits and vegetables for mold. Canned and packaged foods in pantries are safe unless exposed to extreme fire heat.

Check frozen food for thawing and refreezing that might have happened when the power was lost and then restored (example: large ice crystals in the food, or frozen liquid at the bottom of container). If refreezing is obvious throw away product.
It is cheaper to replace the food than to risk your health by taking a chance. If in doubt, throw it out! For more information call us at (928)442-5103.

• Private Wells: If your home or business is on a private well and was affected by the fire you may have to take some precautions. For more information call Arizona Department of Environmental Quality at (800) 234-5677.

• Wildlife: During and after a fire, wildlife may be displaced and looking for food and water.
Do not leave pet food or water bowls outdoors
Avoid contact with all wildlife, which may be carrying diseases such as rabies.

• Biting Insects: While working outdoors, use an insect repellent containing DEET to prevent bites from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.

• Snakes: When working outdoors, be aware that snakes could be hiding in trash or wood piles.

• Garbage: To avoid attracting animals and flies use tightly covered containers to hold garbage.

• Septic Systems: Due to the wide range of septic system types, it is recommended that routine maintenance be performed as appropriate for your specific system; these guidelines are listed in the septic system Owner Operation and Maintenance Manual (each home owner should have a copy).
Certain systems could be adversely affected by lack of use during prolonged absence
Additional concerns might be fire retardant, water, ash, and weight of fallen debris

• If your property suffered fire damage please call Yavapai County Development Services at (928) 771-3214.

• Clean-up: The Yavapai County Transfer Station, located at 11130 South Antelope Creek Road, will be open during normal business hours for the next seven days, and accepting trash at no charge, from those affected by the fire or the power outage.  The Transfer station will be closed on the Fourth of July.

What About Odors?  Short of thoroughly cleaning everything in the house or business, you can place saucers of household vanilla, vinegar, or activated charcoal in the rooms to help absorb the odors. Remember that the smoke odor is also inside the heating and cooling ductwork and you may get a fresh blast of odors every time the air system is turned on.

• Don’t hesitate to ask for help if the stress is getting to you or someone you know. Talking to a friend or a counselor can help you get through this.

• The Flood Control District: There is a reasonable potential that the watersheds within the burn area, including Big Bug Creek and its tributaries, and Turkey Creek and its tributaries, will see increased flows and mudflows as the debris and ash from the fire are washed downstream.  Any residential structure in Yavapai County is eligible for flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This includes structures in a Special Flood Hazard Area as mapped by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). There is a waiver to the 30-day waiting period for flood insurance if any claims are for a flood resulting from a fire on Federal property and the policy was purchased prior to the flooding event.  Any residents downstream of the burn area are encouraged to talk to your insurance agent about obtaining flood insurance.  More information on flood insurance can be found at[].  See the Flood After Fire Fact Sheet.  Contact Emergency Management for information on sandbags. Specific questions about the flood hazard area on your property can be directed to the Flood Control District at (928) 771-3197.