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Be prepared: Carry fire extinguisher, shovel in the car

By: Nancy Waldron
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While traveling through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains a couple of years ago, someone had deliberately set several fires along Interstate 80 from Auburn to Lake Tahoe. People stopped to put out the fires with whatever they had in their cars. The only thing I had in the car was a small fire extinguisher. So, I stopped, rolled down the window, and handed the fire extinguisher out. I told the man this might help a little. A day or so later, I read where all of the fires had been extinguished, thus preventing a massive fire that would have devastated this beautiful area. That experience stayed with me for quite some time. It comes back to me with all of the fires in California and elsewhere.

After seeing those fires a couple of years ago, I bought a large fire extinguisher for my car so I am better prepared to help. Had others carried fire extinguishers in their cars, some of the current fires could have been prevented or more quickly reduced. Another thing I put in the car was a digging shovel to move dirt to cover a fire as well as for other purposes. These are little things that I can do to that might make a big difference. I have always carried a first-aid kit, blankets, towels, and water when I go on errands around town or on a long trip. I carry enough water, food, and whatever I know will be needed on long trips for myself and Reggie, my dog.

It seems extremely important now more than ever that we as individuals help in any way we can to prevent these fires by being prepared. A fire extinguisher and a shovel in the car might make the difference between life and death for yourself, your family, your pets, many others and much property. We have them in our homes so we are prepared and I think it is equally important to put them in our cars.
If a number of people have fire extinguishers and a shovel in their cars and stopped to help when a fire is spotted, whether it be a car fire on the freeway, trash can of a neighbor, or a fire starting alongside the road, it could make a major difference with all of us working together.

Reggie reminds me that protecting him in situations is paramount. He lets me know he needs me to watch out for him in so many ways. He is small, has a loud bark, but runs to me when he is frightened.  He is fragile and depends upon me to be prepared to take care of him in all situations. All pets have the same need.

I invite you to consider putting a fire extinguisher and a shovel in the car for any trip no matter how short or long.  Please share this with those who live in areas that have the potential for fires whether it be country or city. 

Nancy Waldron is an Auburn resident.