September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Caldor Fire evacuees with pets find community in church parking lot

Local News

CAMERON PARK, Calif. (KTXL) — Thousands of people are still evacuated from the Caldor Fire, and while many are staying in shelters or hotels, hundreds are living out of a Cameron Park parking lot so they can stay with their pets.

“We went to Diamond Springs first, they were full. They sent us down to Cameron Park and Cameron Park said no dogs and we came here. So it was two days to finally find somewhere. I just now unloaded the car,” Kerry Richburg, who evacuated from Camino, told FOX40.

Richburg said all the hotels along Highway 50 were booked.

Even when she made it to the shelter at Green Valley Community Church, she couldn’t stay inside.

 “They wouldn’t take dogs and we have the two dogs,” she said.

Richburg is among hundreds of evacuees now living out of RVs, tents and cars in the church parking lot.

“In the front seat. I found my seat folds back, so I’m sleeping there,” she said. “My neighbor is sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag.”

Not only does she have dogs but several birds and a cat too. All of them are sleeping with her in her car.

“They are my reason to keep going. If I dropped them at a shelter and my house burns down, I’d give up on trying to get them back,” Richburg said.

She said as difficult as being evacuated has been, the community coming together has been an inspiration.

“It’s kind of like God’s army, all of a sudden. It is just so incredible to sit and watch everybody coming in and what can we do, and everybody is just supporting one another,” Richburg said. “And it’s a nice, safe place to be.”

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