GLENDALE — Sarena Alessio had planned to return Sunday after a week away from her home off Azalea Glen Road on Sunday.

The Milepost 97 Fire, estimated to be at 11,000 acres and 5 percent contained Sunday night, forced Alessio to change her arrival plans.

Alessio returned to her home — currently under a Level 1 “Be Ready” evacuation notice — Saturday night, in time to attend a packed community meeting Sunday evening at Glendale High School.

Leaders from agencies responsible for fighting the Milepost 97 Fire updated residents in attendance about the massive firefighting effort in progress involving more than 900 fire crews and growing. Officials took time after the meeting to answer questions and made maps available as well to residents.

People who arrived too late to find a seat in the packed bleachers stood against the wall to listen to officials.

Alessio, who arrived 30 minutes early to the meeting, said she spent most of the day going over paperwork — prioritizing what she would need should her home be elevated to a Level 3 “Go” evacuation.

“Just the essentials,” she said. “You can’t take everything.”

When she awoke Sunday morning, the smoke around her home created an orange haze in the air.

Then the wind shifted again, giving way to blue sky Sunday afternoon.

That’s the uncertainty that causes her to be a little anxious — not knowing when Sheriff’s Office deputies or fire crews will show up telling her she has to flee.

Should that happen, Alessio has a big suitcase, two smaller suitcases and a couple of small tote bags ready to go.

Mike Henneke can be reached at or 541-957-4208. Follow him on Twitter @ihenpecked.

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