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wildfire evacuees

California wildfire evacuees return home to find devastation

in People

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Nikki and Kevin Conant returned to their home in Northern California wine country Wednesday to find only the charred remains of their home and burned pieces of the wine barrels they used to repurpose into custom-made art and furniture.

“It was like a part of me is gone, burned up in the fire. Everything we built here, everything we made here is gone,” Nikki Conant said.

The couple, both 52, were preparing to evacuate Sunday when they saw an orange glow in the hills near their Santa Rosa rental home. Within 45 minutes, they could hear the trees crackling and propane tanks exploding as the blaze reached their community. They jumped in their car, and for what seemed like an eternity they were stuck in bumper-to- bumper traffic.

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Public shelter space limited for Sonoma County wildfire evacuees during pandemic

in News
John Burgess/The Press Democrat
John Burgess/The Press Democrat

Shelters that in years past have provided refuge for Sonoma County’s wildfire victims and evacuees this week were replaced with so-called evacuation points as officials test new ways for serving displaced residents in the middle of a pandemic.

The 14,000-acre Walbridge fire west of Healdsburg and the 2,500-acre Meyers fire north of Jenner forced roughly 8,000 people to evacuate by Wednesday night. Another 20,000 residents were warned to prepare to leave their homes.

Those who already fled largely appeared to have found a safe haven on their own, so late Wednesday local officials consolidated shelter coordination at Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

Continue Reading on Sonoma Index-Tribune

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