As Butte County begins to recover from the Camp Fire and residents are slowly allowed back into burned areas, there are some important considerations to keep in mind for health and safety.
According to Butte County Sheriff, Kory Honea, some evacuation areas could be lifted as soon as Dec. 2.
ButteCountyRecovers.org has posted the following information:
Re-Entry Health and Safety Kits
When visiting fire-impacted areas, you will encounter dangerous conditions and will be exposed to hazardous materials. Environmental Health will provide re-entry health and safety kits at entrance checkpoints as evacuation order are lifted. Please use these items to minimize exposure to toxic materials.
Re-entry kits include:
- Full body Tyvek suit
- Rubber gloves
- N-95 mask
- Hazard Advisory & Health and Safety Precautions
Once your visit is complete, discard items from the re-entry kit in the plastic bag provided and leave the bag on your property. The bag will be removed by hazardous waste and debris removal professionals.
Limited Services in Burn Area
Residents need to be aware that the areas being lifted may have very limited services. Prior to returning home, residents are encouraged to take steps to ensure they have food, water, and fuel for their vehicles. Residents are advised not to use generators to power buildings or structures due to potential back feeding of electrical lines.
Health Officer Issued Hazard Advisory Warning Against Habitation of Destroyed Property
The Butte County Health Officer has issued a hazard advisory strongly suggesting no habitation of destroyed property until property is declared clear of hazardous waste and structural ash and debris by Butte County Environmental Health. There is evidence from recent fires in California that homes and property destroyed by fire contain high and concerning levels of heavy metals, lead, mercury, dioxin, arsenic, and other carcinogens. Some property may have the presence of radio-active materials. Exposure to hazardous substances may lead to acute and chronic health effects, and may cause long-term public health and environmental impacts.
Learn more at ButteCountyRecovers.org
Remember, if you’re returning to an area impacted by the Camp Fire or flash flooding, you are entering a hazardous area and will encounter dangerous conditions as well as be exposed to toxic materials.
In most of the re-population areas there are limited or no services, so also be sure to pack provisions in your vehicle including water, food, flashlight, battery operated radio, warm clothing, blankets and a first-aid kit. You can also sign up for Code Red alerts here.
Orchard Hospital will continue to post updated information related to the Camp Fire recovery on our Facebook page.
To assist with a new location for the evacuee distribution center, we’ve also offered a building that is no longer being used. The building is located at 230 Spruce Street (behind Orchard Hospital). Thank you to all the many volunteers and service clubs that have organized the move of the distribution center.
The Medical Specialty Center at Orchard Hospital is open and providing services to the community and surrounding areas.
If you need to be seen in a clinic, The Medical Specialty Center in Gridley - Your Everyday Health Care Clinic - is located at 284 Spruce St., and is opened for walk in care till 7 p.m.
Our mission at Orchard Hospital is to provide our community with superior health care. We strive to ensure that your experience at Orchard Hospital is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our priority is to provide you with the care you need when you need it, with skill, compassion, and respect.