Burnouts are different from other disasters and pose a different set of problems. One of these is that the fire does leave some things that can be found later. If one wants to search out and recover personal belongings this page outlines how to do it.
Skoshi Tiger recommends this equipment in addition to what was recommended on the earlier page:
Rakes, steel and lawn (no plastic);
Shovels, flat and pointed;
Heavy sieve, ½” chicken wire;
Light sieve, ¼” screen;
5 gallon buckets;
Always use your mask and safety glasses. Wraparound glasses work best. Nothing’s worse than spending the day washing out your eyes and nose when you could be making progress.
Start at the edges and work toward the center. If one room is worked at a time, note in the journal which are finished and what was found. Work with the wind toward the back or side. Straight on wind hampers seeing and breathing.
If jewelry or a safe is being sought, clear a path to the area, clear a working area and begin, but be deliberate. Take the time to be thorough. Be sure to take the debris all the way out of the work area. Try to avoid working after dark. Stack the debris in two different piles, keepers and tossers.
Do not take chances, no matter how easy it may seem to move through the debris. The structure or treasure can be replaced. An injury will stop progress.
Stack or store the found valuables in one safe place, out of sight of onlookers. Stay aware of anyone on the property. If a stranger shows up, or if anyone you don’t trust is near, stop the operation and wait for them to leave before you continue your reclamation.
Suffering the devastation of a fire is the emotional equivalent of being hit by a train so it is best to be cautious and not need to be than to not be cautious and need to be.
Disaster areas are normally rife with opportunists of all types. Be aware. Be deliberate.
When the reclamation is finished, let it go. Decide when the end is, and stick with it.