Reno woman, parents threatened by fire, worries from afar

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) When Mi Ah Clark saw the first reports of a growing wildfire in Ventura County she wasn't especially concerned. Her parents live in the LA suburb of Tujunga nowhere near that fire.

She woke the next day to learn there were other fires and one--the Creek fire--was near their home. She called her mother. There was smoke and high winds. No flames. She didn't seem alarmed. Later her father called.

"And he said. 'Some one just knocked in my door and said we might want to think about evacuating.' And that's when I was like, what?"

Now she was concerned.

"And then I was like why would they be evacuating. So I started looking on line."

What she saw was more than a little frightening.

Myung and Soo Le are in their 70s, having moved to Southern California a few years ago from the Midwest, where wildfires aren't the frequent threat they are here.

But Mi Ah, their daughter, had faced this very situation in 2012, when the Washoe Drive Fire was threatening the family home in the Galena area.

"That's when I started getting things together. We have an external hard drive for our computer, our fire-proof safe. Things like that. I started dumping things in the car and then that knock on the door came and "Oh, let's go."

So, hundreds of miles away by phone, drawing on that experience, she advised her father about what to do, what to take.

"You know, passports, immunization papers, health insurance and their medications. That's just right off the top of my head. And they had all that stuff ready and I said 'Just do it now.' He said 'OK, I'll get your mother and we'll do it now."

Instead they decided to stay put a little while longer.

In the end the winds did not drive the fire to their doorstep. They never evacuated.

A day later, everyone safe and sound, Mi Ah Clark can allow herself a deep breath and reflect.

"I felt like I was thousands of miles away and I just felt I was more worried about them than they were for themselves."