Camp Fire Evacuees Finding Comfort and Hope in Oroville Walmart Parking Lot

OROVILLE -- Some evacuees from the Camp Fire are getting some of their basic needs met in the outer parking lot of the Oroville Walmart.

Brenda and Buzz Clark drove through the fire Thursday morning, barely escaping as their Edgewood Lane neighborhood burned, leaving them homeless for the time being.

"I don't know how any of us got out of there," Buzz Clark said. "It was two lanes going out. There was cars on both sides of us burning, exploding."

They've been sleeping in their car in the Walmart parking lot, feeling safe under the security cameras.

There they turned their attention to the needs of others. They bought $350 worth of groceries and set them out on the pavement for anybody who needs them.

"And then it just snowballed," Buzz Clark said. "You see people just all of the sudden showing up, bringing food. These people over here are cooking."

The pile of goods has continued to grow.

"Everybody's coming to help each other right now. Everybody's doing what they got to do," Routh told FOX40.

While FOX40 was speaking with Routh, Kristin Crostley joined the conversation.

"All of our paychecks, all of our jobs, everything just gone," Crostley said.

Crostley fled to Calaveras County after the fire with her son, daughter and two grandchildren. But they decided to come right back to Butte County where there was more help available.

They found many items they needed in the donation pile outside the Oroville Walmart.

"Because there's more help and everybody has such a normal life everywhere else but here," Crostley said. "Everyone's just going to work and the sun is shining, and our life and our world is not. But God knows all about it."

In the growing pile of donations, the fire victims found hope. It says a lot about the community.

"It says they're pretty damn good," Crostley said. "It says that there's humanity still left in the world because we thought it was gone but it's obviously not."

"This right here really woke me up. Makes me see a whole new world out here," Routh said.

As of Monday evening, the items needed most in the collection pile were toiletries, towels, blankets and breathing masks. You can drop items off in the parking lot.