As Yavapai County works to recover from the Goodwin Fire, you may find this health-related information helpful.
- 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 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 www.floodsmart.gov. 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.
Air Quality Concerns
Smoke Smoke from the Goodwin Fire is visible and concerning in the quad-cities, but not yet at levels that might cause harm. ADEQ monitors register the area in the “Good” range. As long as you can still see things that are 5 to 10 miles away you can be reasonably sure you won’t have a medical emergency caused by smoke inhalation. Conditions are being monitored and communities will be alerted as needed. If you start to feel sick or faint contact your doctor immediately.
According the Community Health Center of Yavapai: Smoke-Sensitive persons include children, pregnant women, older adults, individuals with asthma or other lung disease, and individuals with heart disease. Even if a person does not have existing breathing problems, people should avoid going near any type of wildfire, even small ones, because it can cause severe breathing problems, even in previously healthy people.
How do I avoid the smoke? It’s everywhere! There are several ways to cope with the smoke. Stay indoors, preferably in a closed, air conditioned house. If you do not have air conditioning, try to find a place that does, perhaps with a friend or a family member. Make sure your air filter is replaced every month. Room air cleaners with a HEPA filter are helpful. Reduce strenuous activity which can worsen shortness of breath. Stay far away from the fire.
Fabric surgical masks are not recommended as they do not filter out the tiny smoke particles.
A disposable respirator such as N95 or P100 can help, but only if all of the above suggestions do not help. They are rigid masks that need to be professionally fitted for a tight seal.
If you are having difficulty breathing, seek medical attention right away.
Particulate matter is a component of smoke from wildfires and consists of fine particles such as soot and ash that can reach deep into the lungs and may contain irritating and toxic compounds. Some of the symptoms related to exposure to smoke from wildfires include:
- Eye, nose, mouth and/or throat irritation
- Trouble breathing
- Tightness of the chest
- And/or the onset of symptoms related to pre-existing respiratory ailments like asthma or emphysema
If smoke from wildfires is affecting you and your family consider some of the following actions:
- Temporarily locating to another area as long as it is safe for you to do so.
- Move indoors and stay there with doors and windows closed.
- The filtration systems on home systems can provide some benefit.
- Run room air filtration units.
- Reduce your physical activity level. Do not exercise.
At night the falling air temperatures tend to cause smoke to move to lower elevations. Communities near the fire may be affected by poor air quality and residents are advised to stay tuned to radios and scanners for alerts.
Residents can help their communities by checking on neighbors, especially if the neighbor lives alone, is elderly, or may have heart or lung disease. We recommend that you limit your time outside and avoid exercising outdoors as much as possible.
Power Outage in Mayer
APS is coordinating directly with emergency personal on scene at the Goodwin fire. We are ready to respond should we be asked to de-energize APS lines or assess damage, once the area has been deemed safe to enter. If your power goes out, please let APS know by going to aps.
We ask for our customers’ patience as our crews respond to any possible outages. Crews are working 24/7 to ensure safe and reliable power to our customers and must abide by all safety standards. Our crews are working around the clock to restore power but keep in mind that due to the rapidly changing condition of the fire, estimated times of restoration are subject to change. To monitor power outages across our state, go to http://outagemap.aps.com/outageviewer/.
Ice reimbursement Customers can purchase up to 40 lbs. of wet bagged ice or 20 lbs. of dry ice. Please send your receipts to: APS Community Affairs PO Box 53999 Phoenix AZ 85072.
Please include your account number or service address.
Food available for those that were evacuated. The Yavapai County Food Bank, at 8866 East Long Mesa Drive, Prescott Valley AZ 86314, is offering assistance to homeowners who were evacuated during the Goodwin Fire, and have lost their fresh food supplies do the fire and or loss of power. Please come to the Salvation Army office (red door) and see Maureen at the front desk. Be prepared to provide an ID, or property address, to show you live within the evacuated area. Please indicate if you have the ability to cook, keep food cold (or not) and food will be offered accordingly. It would be best to go today Thurs June 29th and Friday June 30th from 1:00-3:00, gates open at Noon. Should the evacuation continue, these hours and dates may be extended; for now it is only this week until June 30th. If you have lost your home there may be additional assistance and will be based on household needs. For additional information please watch the Yavapai County Emergency Managers Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ycoem.