Wildfire Forces People Out Of Homes

July 27, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
People in the small community of Midpines are under an evacuation order, and more than 2 thousand other homes are on standby. Some of the evacuees are staying at Mariposa's elementary school where they wait for word about the fate of their homes.

Cots are lined up at Mariposa's elementary school, but Midpines resident Roy Robinson slept inside his truck Saturday night, staying close to a handful of boxes filled with things he said he just can't afford to lose. "Worth a million, or more," said Robinson, referring to family portraits inside the boxes.

For Robinson, the hard part now is waiting. "It's tough. And I can't find anyone that can tell you what houses have been destroyed. But maybe they'll get around to it before the day is over," said Robinson.

Inside the elementary school, Red Cross volunteers are doing their best to make things as comfortable as possible for people forced out of their homes. About 16 people stayed at the shelter overnight and about 50 others registered at the shelter before going to stay with family and friends in the area.

Mollie Tucker arrived at the shelter Sunday morning hours after her family first started packing up. "My daughter rode the horse, about ten last night, she got here safely and five dogs and two cats later we're here," said Tucker.

The fire has already burned around homes near the Mount Bullion ridge, just north of Mariposa. Several structures have been destroyed, others, spared. Tucker is one of the lucky ones. "I'm so happy that I hear my house is still standing this morning. No electricity, but it's still standing. I just feel for these other people," said Tucker.

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