Preparing to Evacuate -- Marek Fire engulfs 3200 acres near our home

This morning as of 7 AM the Marek fire that began Sunday at 2 AM has now consumed 3200 acres in the canyons above our home, forcing the evacuation of 1200 people so far, and possibly our family very soon. The smell of burned wood, constant whine of sirens, and whirling of helicopter blades have been with us all morning.

We watched TV as flames licked around the area of Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural, but as of now the 60 miles per hour winds have pushed the flames away from that area and are moving the blaze closer to Sylmar and San Fernando. Already Mission College, about two miles from our house, has closed, and the evacuation lines have reached a mile from our home. Other family members, Trini's brother Teto's family, have already been forced to leave.

The brush around the canyons here have been dry for years due to drought. The fire, which the fire department believes may have been arson set, hit hard around the Hanson Dam area. We saw a mobile home park--we think it may be where one of my youngest son's friends lived--burn in the flames. As of now, no injuries have been reported. People are moving swiftly as officials declare the evacuation zones.

We'll try to keep you all updated. For now, we're packing valuable papers into boxes and getting ready in case we have to get out.

Send prayers to all the people in the area. Thank you all for always being there with your thoughts and prayers.

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