Calgrove Fire Hits Too Close to Home

Last weeks Calgrove fire hit a bit too close to home for me.  My father’s house was directly across from the forested valley on fire.  The news was reporting from his street.  It was very scary stuff.  Thankfully everyone is all right, but it is definitely time to review our emergency preparedness plan.

Calgrove Fire Close to Home
Calgrove Fire Close to Home

I got a call from a friend to turn on the news and knew immediately that Calgrove is my parents’ exit on the Fwy and the main street to their home.  The fire was just south and coming in fast.  I tried to call my dad, but his phone was off while he was working.  I called my stepmom and she had already heard about the fire and was driving home to collect what she could.  Scared and alone.

She wasn’t able to get off at her exit so had to figure out a back way to the house.  (Know the backway in to your house!)  The traffic around the house was awful and anyone else coming to help her in time was unlikely.

We talking about about what is important to grab if you only have minutes to collect your most precious possessions.  It made me think about how I should store my own precious and important documents.

News Reports for Calgrove Fire on my street.
News Reports for Calgrove Fire on my street.

I have a small fire safe that I don’t for a minute think would withstand a real fire, but it is small enough to grab and know that most of my important documents and treasured baubles will be easy to evacuate.  I have all of one year’s tax and working paperwork in one file drawer so I could just grab that drawer.  But, of course, my dog will be number one on the evacuation list!

I don’t have all of my pictures in one place to compile them quickly.  My step mother and I talked about why we had not yet chosen to scan all of our old pictures.  When a fire threatens, you re-think putting those things off.  Here is some info on photo scanning.  I think both of us will be doing this soon.

  • How will you contact your loved ones if there is a fire?
  • Do you have a meeting spot in an emergency?
  • Do you have your treasures in a place that is easy to get to?
  • Do you know where your medications are and do you have extras?
  • What is your best news source in a local emergency?

Here are some other links with more information that might be useful.

Red Cross Wildfire Preparedness

Los Angeles Fire Department

Office of the State Fire Marshal

This is going to a long, dry, hot summer, so be careful out there!


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