ROCKLIN, Calif. (KTXL) — Northern California authorities lifted some evacuation orders in the area of the Mosquito Fire, allowing thousands of people to return to their homes for the first time in several days.
The areas include Cannon Creek, Bottle Hill and Grey Eagle in El Dorado County. The voluntary evacuation orders were also lifted in Cool, Garden Valley, Georgetown and Swansboro, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff.
As a containment line continues to increase around the fire, some who evacuated are still not home.
A Rocklin church has opened its doors to those folks, to help with any necessities needed and to offer prayers.
Usually, Destiny Christian Church is home to more than 2,000 people at each service. But they’ve opened their doors to those who’ve been evacuated since the Mosquito Fire began almost two weeks ago.”
Barry and Sharon Grafe are among those evacuees. They haven’t been home for 10 days now, and Sharon says they said a prayer just before leaving home.
“I had a feeling of actual comfort come over me, like everything was going to be okay,” Sharon said to FOX40 News.
The Grafes say they are doing well and finding comfort from the church.
“Sunday is just a refuge. This is by far the greatest family here, I believe,” Barry said.
On Sunday, Pastor Greg Fairrington said a special prayer for the victims of this devastating fire.
“Right now, I pray peace for every family member, every family, everybody that’s been displaced by this fire,” Fairrington said in prayer.
“Anybody that wants to come to our church, the doors are wide open,” Fairrington said, inviting all of those that are affected by the Mosquito Fire and the related evacuations.
“This is our community. And we’re in it together and we stand together,” he continued.
Sharon Grafe remembers her first day arriving at the church. “As soon as we walked in last Sunday, I immediately started crying. I felt a peace over me. People came up to us that hadn’t seen us in a while and said ‘I’m so happy that you’re okay.’”
This past week, Pastor Greg says the church helped a single mom and her children who evacuated from their home and provided them with new clothes, gas and groceries.
“We love our city and we are blessed to be a blessing. We want to come alongside people who’ve been devastated, maybe are stressed out and worried,” said Fairrington.
Destiny Church has a dedicated section on its website where people can get information on how donate money or items to help the victims of the Mosquito Fire.