Links to active fire resources

Fire preparation

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 Operator’s screen.

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

        • Brent Chase - 949 728 0128

        • Nancy Streza - 949 728 0711

        • Luke Hopkins - 949 728 1242

        • Karen Ritter - 949 728 1499

        • Patty Stephens - 949 728 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:

(You can sign up to receive Orange County major incidents by email at this website:

4. Call a Rancho Carrillo Volunteer Fire Department 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.

    • Stay calm

    • Keep the roads and driveways clear for fire equipment.

    • Gather your valuables and 7 P's

    • People

    • Pets

    • Papers (important docs: insurance papers, deeds, auto registration, passports, birth certificates, stock certificates)

    • Prescriptions

    • Plastic (credit cards/purse/wallet)

    • PC (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!


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

Other information:

Rancho Carrillo is a Tier 2 (elevated) CPUC Fire Risk Area -

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