Sonora Fairgrounds Open to Evacuees

SONORA -- "To become homeless. Oh yes, it's a fear. It's definitely a fear."

When Tabitha Karr and her four kids and five dogs were evacuated from their Greeley Hill home, it was covered in ash.

She says the thought of losing her home on her mind, made packing up more difficult.

"Frightening and stressful. But luckily we all worked together, we came together and each one of us did our part," Karr said.

The Karrs are one of the several dozen families staying at the evacuation center at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora.

The Red Cross opened the shelter late Wednesday night after the Detwiler fire grew, forcing even more people from their homes.

Debbie Calcote, disaster program manager for the Red Cross says a lot of the evacuees were frazzled as they came in and hopes they can find comfort at the shelter.

"Sometimes just being an ear is what they need. Just someone to talk to. And knowing that they have a safe place to be really does help," Calcote said.

The fairground also provides a safe place for their animals.

According to the Red Cross they chose this location of the Sonora Fairgrounds because of all the available space for evacuated livestock

Karr says they slept in tents outside at the fairgrounds to be with their five dogs.

Trying to make the best of a horrible situation, she told her kids to pretend they were camping.

"Trying to make them feel like that, so that they are less stressed. They have their own coping skills, they joke around and make light of everything," Karr said.