Important answers to important questions. Please read this and make sure everyone in your family does, too!

Prepare for a wildfire:

 1,   Watch this video.

  2.   Install the "CalFire" app on your smart phone for notifications and checklists.

  3.   Prepare all the residents in your home for READY SET GO

What should I do if a house or barn fire occurs:

  • Use a fire extinguisher, blankets, or water to extinguish a small fire

  • If the fire is too large for you to put out, close the doors to isolate the fire and exit the house as quickly as possible
    (Take People -- and if you have time, take Pets/Keys/Purse/Wallet.)

  • Go outside and call 911 with a cordless phone or run to your neighbors

  • DIAL 911

    Tell the operator your  lot number and street address.  If your number is in our directory, it SHOULD show up on the Operators screen. 

    After calling 911, if possible, please notify Rancho Carrillo First Responders for assistance: 

            • Keith Warren       -0159
  • Brent Chase        -0128

            • Nancy Streza       -0711
  • Robert Davis       -1504

  • Karen Ritter        -1499

            • Patty Stephens    -9940
  • If you cannot reach anyone, honk your horn. Use the Morse code "SOS" cry for help: 
                           3 shorts - 3 longs - 3 shorts     . . . ___ ___ ___ . . .  

"I see flames directly along our access road or in Rancho Carrillo proper and no one is around it, who do I call?"

Call 911 first and then call a local volunteer firefighter.   If it is small enough for you to safely extinguish with your fire extinguisher, do it!

"I smell smoke.  What should I do?"

1.  Look out  your window, go outside and/or drive around the neighborhood
2.  Check TV or radio for local news reports
3.  Monitor emergency websites:
    •  CHP  -   (Change to Orange County in upper left corner box)
    • Current status of fire incidents -
      (You can sign up to receive Orange County major incidents by email at this website:

4.  Call a Rancho Carrillo Volunteer Fire Dept member.  (Above list)

How will I know if a forest fire is headed our way?

  • You will smell smoke
  • You will receive a phone call. We have a One Call Now system in place with our residents' home and cell numbers.
       (Update your numbers with Nancy at -0711)

  • Watch or listen to the local news.

What should I do if I learn that a forest fire is headed our way?

  • Stay calm

  • Keep the roads and driveways clear for fire equipment.

  • Gather your valuables and 7 P's 
    (important docs:  insurance papers, deeds, auto registration, passports, birth certificates, stock certificates)
    Plastic (credit cards/purse/wallet)
      (or MAC, flash drive, hard drive)
    Photos & Treasures  (If you have time, take pictures of your home and belongings, inside and out)

  • Load your escape vehicle and park it facing the exit.  Leave keys in the ignition.
  • GO & GO EARLY -- Don't wait for evacuation orders

The fire is getting closer – I don't want to evacuate.  what can I do to help?

  • Close all windows and doors as well as inside doors.    Unlock doors.

  • Open the gate to your driveway   – disengage the motor

  • Turn on exterior lights

  • Close blinds and remove lightweight curtains.

  • Turn off propane at the tank.

  • Turn off the valves for lawn or tree watering sprinkling systems

  • Put all flammable lawn furniture in the house or garage.

  • Trim branches that are touching your house

  • Close garage doors and disable openers

  • Leave electricity on for lights and pumps.  Leave an outside light on.

  • Connect garden hoses so the firefighters can use them.

  • Place ladder against front of house.

  • If you leave a vehicle outside, park it away from the house, facing an exit  in an open area, leaving plenty of room for many emergency vehicles to enter your driveway; leave keys in ignition.  Close all windows.  If you leave a vehicle in the garage, leave keys in ignition.

  • Keep the access road to Ortega Highway clear so fire equipment can get up here.

  • Turn horses and farm animals out of the barn and/or take them to the fire station arena.  Close barn doors.  Do not let them run loose in the valley or the wilderness.


  • Don’t Panic

  • Don’t hose down your house or trees with water unless there are flames touching it.   It will quickly evaporate and use up precious water.

  • Don’t drive your horse trailer down the hill.  It may prevent fire trucks from coming up.

  • Don’t let your horses run loose in the valley.  They are safer in a pasture or at the rec center’s arena.

  • Don’t leave your animals in the house or barn.  Either take them with you in your car, lock them in an outside pen or let them run loose.
  • Don't interfere with professionals and trained volunteers who are trying to do their job.

Where do I go?  What do I do?

  • BE SAFE!   Don’t put yourself or your family or your neighbors at risk.

  • You may choose to go to the Fire Station.   Use “Hooligan parking areas.”  Stay calm.  Offer to help or stay out of the way.

  • If you choose to leave Rancho Carrillo, leave a message at the Fire Station (728-0600) where you are going  and how you can be reached.

  • In case of a quick evacuation – or if you are unable to get home to Rancho Carrillo, meet your neighbors in the parking lot of Ortega Center in front of Ballpark Pizza/Bravo Burger/Bad to the Bone  in San Juan Capistrano (or a designated Red Cross Shelter).  Call the RC Fire Department office for updates  728-0600.

  • You should have an out-of-state emergency contact. Instruct your family members to call that number if the local phone lines are jammed during an emergency. The out-of-state person can help your entire family to keep in touch with one another.

  • Rancho Carrillo has survived emergencies in the past. Make friends with your neighbors during good times, so that in case of emergencies, you will know who to call!


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  1790k v. 1 Jul 7, 2013, 10:05 PM Nancy Streza