Wildfire caused $500,000 in damage at Reagan Library

California wildfire nears Reagan Library
KABC video via CNN
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

A California brush fire that burned in the hills near Simi Valley last month caused $500,000 in damage to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The Oct. 30 blaze, named the Easy Fire, spread up and down hills around the library, consuming trees and surrounding landscape and banners along Presidential Drive, according to library spokeswoman Melissa Giller.

Giller said in a statement that the library’s “entire network box — all internet, network and cabling that the campus operates on was burned; stopping all accessibility for our cash registers (ticket counter and museum store), access to the internet, and employee ability to access our network from off-site computers.”

“The team worked for about 30 hours straight and had us fully operational when we reopened to the public that Friday,” Giller said.

The Easy Fire — one of several California wildfires that burned in dry and windy conditions — consumed nearly 2,000 acres, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. Its cause is under investigation.

In addition to the firefighters and aircraft crews that responded the day of the fire, a hungry herd of as many as 500 goats helped create a firebreak months before in the brush that surrounded the complex, officials said. The goats ate vegetation capable of fueling a fire.

The library houses Reagan’s presidential and California gubernatorial records, as well as the couple’s personal effects, including most of Nancy Reagan’s dresses dating back to the 1950s and her wedding ring.