This paper presents an application of heuristic methods to the restoration of distribution networks after disturbances. The heuristic approach is proposed since the problem needs more reasoning than pure calculation. Due to the combinatorial aspect of the restoration of a distribution network, the search method must be guided by some heuristics. The problem has been divided into two parts. In the first, the final topology is determined according to the actual problem (branch outage or line overload). The second deals with the order in which all modifications have to be done to avoid creating new temporary overloads or outages in the network. These methods have been tested on a rural distribution network and the solution shows the efficiency of the method