Why My Family Wants to Leave the Fire Zone

by Lucy Barnum
Also Featured on KCBS

Why My Family Wants to Leave the Fire Zone

by Lucy Barnum
Also Featured on KCBS
11.18.19
Photo: Peter J. Hill/Flickr
11.18.19

I live in the Berkeley Hills, an area that’s considered at risk for fires. Every fall, I wonder whether my neighborhood will be the next to burn down.

When I was younger, I remember thinking about what it would be like to evacuate our house, what I would bring if we had to leave in the middle of the night. While it was a real fear, I could never truly imagine my house on fire. 

My parents have talked about leaving our house for years, and after watching the Tubbs Fire in 2017, the Camp Fire last year and now the Kincade Fire, that possibility is real. 

While the idea of moving out of my childhood home saddens me, my parents’ decision makes sense. No matter the memories our house has, I understand their concern when I smell smoke as I leave the house or see brown clouds of smog from our window. 

It’s terrifying to think my home could burn down because of a faulty “transmission line,” like in the fire that destroyed the town of Paradise. No one should ever feel forced to leave their house because of something as preventable as defective equipment.  

Support Young Journalists and Artists
Support Young Journalists and Artists