Best of SNO

Students evacuate throughout southern California due to wildfires

Student photo from the fires

By Anusha Rao and Mina Jung

January 11, 2019

When the Woolsey fire arrived in the city of Oak Park Friday, Nov. 9, residents evacuated to avoid the flames that came down the Santa Susana Mountains toward their homes. The fire was predicted to touch down in Oak Park at 11 p.m., prompting mandatory and voluntary evacuations that also affected...

Woolsey Fire destroys Gindling Hilltop Camp

Students gather around the menorah, which stills stands after the campsite burned in Malibu during the Woolsey Fire

By Juliette Setudeh-Nejad, Oak Park High School

December 28, 2018

As the Woolsey fire burned through Malibu, many religious camps, including Gindling Hilltop, Camp were severely damaged. The Gindling Hilltop camp has been the location for the Oak Park High School senior year Life Skills retreat for the past 17 years, since 2002. For upcoming retreats, however, retreat...

Fire survivor shares experience

The Ehret family works to rebuild their home after the Thomas Fire

By Oliver Carter, Oak Park High School

December 21, 2018

Over a year has passed since the Thomas Fire began on Dec. 4, 2017. The fire directly affected Ventura County and many families within, persisting until Jan. 12, 2018 after 1,063 structures were destroyed. Mindy Ehret lived in the neighborhood of Ondulando, Ventura, with her husband and two sons, a...

Helping Pets Hurt in the Camp Fire

A Butte Humane Society veterinarian treating a feline patient who was burned in the Camp Fire in California

By Lily Bonner, Abington High School

December 21, 2018

From July until this fall, it seemed like all of California was burning. For months, a series of fires blazed across the state. These wildfires turned cities into ash. One of these fires, the Camp Fire, started on Nov. 8 and burned 153,336 acres. It burned until Nov. 25 when it was 100% contained. On...

Community grieves double tragedy

Members of the city of Thousand Oaks mourn the death of 12 residents with flowers and candles

By Olivia Buccieri, Oak Park High School

December 21, 2018

“I feel like it’s impossible to talk, at least in Thousand Oaks, about one tragedy without talking about the other one because of how close together they have been,” Los Angeles Times reporter Soumya Karlamangla said. Karlamangla drove to Thousand Oaks Nov. 8 from her house in Los Angeles to...

In times of destruction, many feel grateful to return home

Siena Reale's living room destroyed by the fires

By Anusha Rao and Mina Jung

December 21, 2018

The Woolsey and Hill fires threatened many communities where Oak Park High School students live, forcing them to evacuate. Some students lost their homes, while others were more fortunate. Those who lived closer to mountains and hills where the fires descended tried to leave as soon as possible. ...

Reflecting on the California wildfire crisis

Photo via Wikimedia Commons. First Responders. What depicts the California Wild-fire crisis is the scene of a burning home, and firefighters on the job to extinguish the flame. However, inside the home was more than burning furniture. There were the memories of an innocent family, now in the midst of catastrophe.

By Shreya Mishra and Shree Delwadia

December 19, 2018

He feels a peculiar smell tingle his senses, and he remains confused for a few moments. However, he remembers the conversations he had a few hours back, and he is instantly nervous. He quickly jumps upon his feet as his thoughts run wildly through his mind. He plays a few options in his head, and it...

Deadly Camp Fire Brings Devastation to Butte County

Almost 11,000 homes were destroyed in the fire.

By Jack Freeman, Woodside High School

December 19, 2018

The Camp Fire was one of the most devastating fires in California’s history, burning 153,336 acres of land, destroying over 18,000 homes and structures, and killing 86 people in the process. The deadly blaze started in the small town of Paradise, near Chico in Butte County, eventually decimating ...

Deadly Woolsey Fire hits Jewish camps, schools, homes

SCHOOL:    The Ilan Ramon Jewish Day School, a K-5 progressive school in Agoura Hills, was in flames Friday afternoon. News reporters on the scene said separate buildings in the back of the school were still intact at 3:30 pm., but that firefighters were busy with homes.

By Clara Sandler, Shalhevet High School

December 13, 2018

The Woolsey Fire ravaged Simi Valley, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, West Hills and Malibu, resulting in thousands of home evacuations, destroyed properties and displaced schools. Three Jewish summer camps were destroyed, and buildings were burned at the Ilan Ramon Jewish Day School in Agoura Hills and...

Recap of the Recent California Fires

California Statewide Fire Map from

By Mary Sabados and Katherine Sharafinski

December 12, 2018

California just faced it deadliest and most destructive fire in the state's recorded history: the Camp Fire. It was almost exactly a year ago that the Thomas fire left many in Southern California devastated. Now, the Camp Fire is just one of the three fires that has scorched California this November. C...

Unhealthy Air Quality Interrupts Fundraising Friday

Woodside leadership students face the smoke at the entrance to the old gym while they sold tickets.

By Tessa Bertine, Woodside High School

December 4, 2018

Woodside High Schools’ biannual Fundraising Friday was relocated to the old gym due to the unhealthy air quality caused by multiple wildfires occurring around California. The smoke from wildfires in Paradise and Malibu have polluted the air, making it unhealthy for students to be spending lots...

ASB field trip postponed due to air toxicity

The ASB field trip is crossed out of student planners now that it has been postponed.

By Maya Lip, Carlmont High School

December 3, 2018

ASB students were anticipating their annual field trip in the wild, but because of unhealthy circumstances, it was delayed. The trip was supposed to take place at the YMCA Camp Jones Gulch in La Honda, California. The ASB Service Council was expected to leave at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, and the...

Camp Fire Sparks Students to Wear Masks for Protection

Students wear masks to protect themselves from the smoky air.

By Sam Brook, Woodside High School

November 30, 2018

Woodside, California is currently in a state of unhealthy air quality with an air index of 184 and visibility of only 2.5 miles. Woodside students have taken to the nurse’s office to acquire barrier masks for some protection against the smoky air. “I’m giving them out to potentially serve as a barrier an...

Frisco Fire Department helping battle blazes in California

Throughout much of the Los Angeles area a wall of smoke can be seen from the Woolsey FIre. With the fire overwhelming area firefighters, more than 200 firefighters from north Texas have gone to California to help out including several from the Frisco Fire Department.

By Melody Tavallaee, Liberty High School

November 30, 2018

The Woolsey Fire has rampaged and spread to more than 200,000 acres across southern California. In the effort to help contain the fires, Frisco has deployed five firefighters and resources to serve the affected communities as part of the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System. “Our goal is for th...

Camp Fire smoke burns sports schedules

A red sun and hazy skies were the dominant signs of the Camp Fire raging some couple hundred miles away from Carlmont High School.

By Mandy Hitchcock, Carlmont High School

November 30, 2018

Up north, desperate evacuees flee the flames. Down here, residents are under an unsaid house arrest while a thick smoke drapes over the Bay Area city skylines. The spark that would evolve to the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history began early last Thursday morning, Nov. 8, in Butte County...

Jewish school, summer camps damaged or destroyed in Woolsey fire

SCHOOL:    The Ilan Ramon Jewish Day School, a K-5 progressive school in Agoura Hills, was in flames Friday afternoon.  News reporters on the scene said separate buildings in the back of the school were still intact at 3:30 pm.

By Clara Sandler, Jacob Joseph Lefkowitz Brooks, and Molly Litvak

November 30, 2018

Jewish schools and camps have been hit hard by Southern California’s fires, with at least one day school and two camps reporting significant damage in the three-day-old blaze. The Ilan Ramon Jewish Day School in Agoura Hills, which was seen in flames on live television Friday afternoon; the Shalom Inst...