Health Risks for fire evacuees - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Health Risks for fire evacuees

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Hundreds of Taylor Bridge Fire evacuees are still painfully waiting for the chance to return to their homes. But when they get there, they could run into some health and safety issues.

The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office says everyone needs to follow a list of guidelines to make sure they're safe and there is nothing inside their home that could be toxic.

Ash and debris could contain toxic substances, so people should be extra careful when handling anything damaged by the fire. Another thing that could be toxic? The food. Anything that could have been damaged by heat, smoke, fumes, chemicals and power outages should be thrown out.

Take a good look at the well or any other part of the water supply system and make sure to get the water tested if it might not be safe. Water testing kits are available from the Kittitas County Public Health Department or Evergreen Valley Utilities. In the meantime, make sure to drink bottled water.

Also, make sure the septic system is inspected. If there are any problems with it, don't use it and contact a septic system installer for help.

For those with a propane tank system, make sure to contact the propane supplier and get the valves turned off until they are inspected by a professional. It's the same situation with a heating oil tank system. Make sure to contact a heating oil supplier for an inspection before turning it on.

Everyone has household cleaning products, and those have chemicals in them. Those should be dropped off at the Ellensburg or Cle Elum Moderate Risk Waste Facility in case they were damaged by the fire.

Lastly, anyone evacuee that has an open or closed wound, should get a tetanus vaccination, especially if the person has not had a documented dose within the last 10 years.