Mental Health and Fire Recovery

Over the course of a lifetime it is common to be exposed to a traumatic event. The recent Tamarack Fire could be considered one of these events, particularly if you have experienced a loss. In response to these types of situations, some people may develop traumatic stress, a normal response to an abnormal event.

Losing your home in a fire involves not only the loss of your residence, but also many other things of value such as photo albums, important documents, and treasured objects. After a fire, your sense of security can also be lost and that can significantly disrupt the normality of daily life. You should not underestimate the challenge of evacuation, relocation, and rebuilding after a fire.

The Red Cross established a hotline for residents who have experienced significant property damage due to the Tamarack Fire. Please reach out at 855-755-7711.

Below are some resources you can use to help during recovery after a fire:

Structure and Damage Assessments: 
Call the Douglas County Manager's Office at 775-782-9821

Beginning July 27, 2021 Douglas County will have staff physically available to answer questions regarding recovery and support at the Topaz Ranch Estate Community Center from 1-4pm through at least Friday, July 30th. 

Recovering Emotionally
Actions You Can Take
If You Still Don't Feel Better

Mental Health and Emotional Recovery 
What You May Be Feeling

Local Behavioral Health Resources
Carson Tahoe Health - Behavioral Health Services
Carson Valley Medical Center - Behavioral Health Outpatient
Douglas County Behavioral Health Emergency Contacts
Douglas County Social Services
Family Support Council
Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health

Returning Home
Checking Your Home's Structural Elements 
Checking Your Home's Utility Services 
Cleanup of Fire Ash and Debris
Disposal and Clean Up Notice from Douglas Disposal
Douglas County Social Services
Food Safety After a Fire
Reducing Exposure to Ash

Returning Home After Tamarack Fire Evacuations
Safety Precautions for Re-Entry and Clean-Up After a Fire
Vital Records Replacement
What To Do Before Returning Home After a Wildfire
Wildfire Fire Chemical Clean-Up
• University of Nevada, Reno Extension call 775-782-9960
• Douglas County Building Department for Home Inspections call 775-782-6224
• Douglas County Social Services call 775-782-9825
• Douglas Disposal call 775-782-5713
• Douglas County Public Works call 775-783-6480

Douglas Disposal will be removing the debris boxes August 5, 2021 and not replace them with new boxes due to an increase of disposal in non-household waste. Douglas Disposal will still provide self-haul trash collection, at no cost, for non-Douglas Disposal customers from the affected areas through Monday, August 9, 2021.

The Transfer Station hours of operation are Tuesday-Sunday 9am-5pm. For questions, contact Douglas Disposal at (775) 782-5713.

Burnt Vegetation Disposal
Bently Ranch is accepting burnt vegetation from the Tamarack Fire at their compost yard located at 1089 Stockyard Road, Minden, NV. Bently Ranch has agreed to accept the burned vegetation from Douglas Disposal at no charge. This offer is also extended to the general public who want to self-haul burned vegetation from the fire. Bently Ranch only request that customers show id/proof of residency in the burn area. This offer is extended to Alpine County residents as well. 

Preparing Property for Rain/Flash Floods
Flood After Fire: The Risk
National Weather Service: Risk of Flash Flooding and Debris Flows

Recovering Financially
Restore Your Financial Well-Being
Vital Records Replacement

Carson Valley Community Food Closet
Food Safety After a Fire

Private Well Information
Water Testing for Private Well Owners

Recovery and Coping
In the middle of a crisis, it can become difficult to take care of yourself with so many other worries preoccupying your mind. However, this is a good time to think about your personal resiliency, healing and a sense of normality. Some self-care strategies you may want to consider are:

Practicing proven stress-reduction techniques, such as:

• Regular exercises, meditation, and deep breathing.
• Allowing yourself to feel bad, cry, and release negative emotions in a healthy manner.
• Giving yourself permission to feel good. You can have periods of joy even when coping with loss.
• Making small decisions daily in order to feel in control of your life once more.
• Putting off major life decisions, such as switching jobs, if possible.
• Lowering your expectations of what you “should be doing.”
• Not isolating yourself too much.
• Spending time with people is healthy in recovery.
• Talking with friends and family.
• Taking advantage of community support.
• Focusing on what you are thankful for in spite of your loss.
• Staying away from mood-altering substances, such as alcohol and other drugs.
• Getting plenty of rest when possible and maintain a normal sleep/wake cycle.
• Eating well-balanced meals.

It is common for people to experience several stages of adjustment including shock, anger, depression, and hopelessness. Ultimately, however, people can reach a stage of acceptance and become able to move beyond disbelief, bitterness, and sadness. Positive feelings can begin to re-emerge as the focus shifts towards the future. Safety, security, and comfort are regained, and life moves forward once again.

For Children

Children, and adolescents can react in a variety of ways when dealing with a fire including experiencing anxiety, nightmares and sleep disorders. A child's ability to cope is highly influenced by how their parents and caregivers deal with crisis. Because children often look to adults for guidance, support, and information, it is important to work to toward coping successfully so that you may serve as a positive role model for your children.

Helping Children Cope