Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 07:45

(TNS) - When the phone rang at 4:50 a.m. Thursday, I woke up on high alert. No one calls that early with good news.

When I saw the caller ID said “CSUN Emergency,” my heart started racing. My youngest son, Cameron, attends California State University-Northridge. High alert shifted to dread.

It turned out the call was just to inform us that CSUN was canceling classes that day due to poor air quality and transportation issues stemming from the massive Southern California wildfires. What a relief. But there was no chance I would go back to sleep without finding out how close the fires were to CSUN’s dorms and what the strategy was for putting the fires out.

The latter was of particular interest because I’ve been writing and editing stories and editorials on California wildfires ever since the 1991 Oakland Hills fire, which killed 25 people, destroyed more than 3,000 homes and resulted in $1.5 billion worth of damage.

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