UPDATED 12:52 PM PT — Mon. Nov. 19, 2018
A wave of deadly and destructive wildfires fuel an unprecedented housing crisis in Northern California as thousands more people are forced from their homes.
While some evacuees have relied on distant friends and relatives for a place to stay, others have pitched tents and camped out of their vehicles with what’s left.
Several people posted up near the parking lot of a Walmart in Chico after escaping their homes in Paradise, where the state’s largest blaze is raging nearby.
“Yeah, I lost everything in Paradise, everything. It’s really terrible. We stayed in town and helped best we could, but we’ll be fine. We’re campers. We can get by good. We don’t need much. We just want people to help everybody else that’s here and really need — the young and the old especially.” -Randy Greb, resident of Paradise
Cal Fire said the so-called ‘Camp Fire’ is continuing to be contained after killing dozens of people, injuring a number of firefighters, and destroying tens of thousands of structures.
Volunteers have poured in from surrounding areas to help in any way possible.
“You give them something like toilet paper and it changes their day, and that’s the reality of this situation…this isn’t the only shelter that’s like this unfortunately, I’ve seen this in a number of times and we just all have to help out in any way we can,” explained Trina Reed of Oakland.
Officials are working to close the makeshift camp set up outside the supercenter with FEMA, the Red Cross, and other agencies stepping up assistance.
This comes as California Governor Jerry Brown said President Trump pledged to help the state following his visit to survey wildfire damage.
“The federal government is behind you, we’re all behind each other…we’re all going to work together,” stated the president.
President Trump has approved an emergency disaster declaration, which will make federal resources available to affected communities.