Confusion Over Lifted Evacuation Order Causes Frustration for Glen Ellen Residents

GLEN ELLEN -- It has been a long, hard week in California's wine country. And the people who live there just want to go home.

"She needs her medication," said evacuee Jordan Buenrostro.

An emergency bulletin from the Sonoma County sheriff does say mandatory evacuations in Glen Ellen are lifted. What it doesn't say: not all of Glen Ellen is in the clear, only parts.

"Just smile. Try to explain as patiently as possible in as many different ways as necessary," said CHP Officer Aaron Finnegan.

Finnegan has the thankless job of keeping the road block in place. It's still in place because there's still trouble in parts of Glen Ellen, including fire calls.

"There's downed power lines, power poles. Utility poles that need to be replaced," Finnegan said.

Once people can get through again, it may be hard for them to process what's on the other side.

"The winds were 50 to 60 miles an hour. Flames were real high," said Glen Ellen resident Rick Dunham.

When the evacuation orders came down, Rick Dunham decided to stick it out. He watched his shop burn to the ground, along with lots of antique, family memorabilia, and old gas pumps, but his house was saved.

"So they hosed. Four trucks from San Francisco were here. And they saved the houses. They did what they needed to do," Dunham said.

While his house is still standing, many aren't. And many people who live here are still standing outside the evacuation area, waiting to get a look, waiting to get started on whatever comes next.