Thomas Fire evacuees eager to return home for the holidays

Posted at 7:08 PM, Dec 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 21:08:49-05

Evacuees of the Thomas Fire are nervously watching the winds Wednesday night, but staying hopeful that on Thursday they’ll wake up to good news.  

"I don’t feel comfortable going home, because one, it’s going to be very windy tonight and through tomorrow so we’ll find out tomorrow if we can go home," said Dawn Narangao, an evacuee staying at the UCSB shelter.   

Others have no choice but to stay at the shelter, with mandatory evacuation orders still in place.  

"I’ve been here six days. Through the hurt and pain you just have to keep going," said Cody King, a mandatory evacuee.   

King says he is just trying to keep his mind busy and off of the fire. 

"Life is too short to worry about the problems we have so I’m just praying and taking care of myself and just waiting to go home again," King said.   

More than 150 people are staying at the UCSB shelter and the Red Cross anticipates staying open through the holidays   

"We are doing everything we can to make sure people still feel comfortable, I know this is not what they expected for the holiday season but we are going to do everything we can to support them," said Taylor Poisall of the American Red Cross.   

But for some evacuees, if the holidays means sleeping on cots next to strangers, they’ll make the most of it.  

"At least I’m with someone I love, I’m happy where ever I’m at," Nanagao concluded.   

The Red Cross says with the holiday weekend, they need more volunteers to help even if it’s just a matter of a couple hours. 

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