10 photos show the grim reality for evacuees of California’s wildfires

Thousands have been displaced as wildfires have swept across California, burning up entire towns and melting cars.

Even after escaping the infernos raging in both Northern and Southern California, life for evacuees continues to be a hell on earth.

See how the survivors are coping with the loss of their homes and their uncertain futures.

With shelters at or near capacity in Northern California, many Camp Fire evacuees have taken to camping out in a Walmart parking lot in the town of Chico.

Source: Arizona Republic

Denise Chester Batres said that when she, her husband, and their two kids fled the Camp Fire, they stayed at hotels in Anderson. When they ran out of money, they moved into the Walmart parking lot.

“I do not feel homeless at all. But yes, evacuee, yes,” she told the Redding Record Searchlight. “I pray we get to go home to a home, but if not we’re going to rebuild.”

Source: Redding Record Searchlight

Red Cross shelters don’t accept animals (besides service pets), which may be why a lot of evacuated families have opted to camp instead.

Source: Redding Searchlight

Life in the shelters is not much of an improvement to life outdoors. Multiple shelters for Camp Fire evacuees have reported outbreaks of norovirus, which causes diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea and stomach cramps.

Source: AP

Norovirus flourishes in environments where people are living in close quarters, such as in college dorms and on cruise ships. The evacuation shelters create a similar environment.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

The shelters that have reported norovirus are quarantining those who are showing symptoms and doing their best to disinfect the premises and set up additional hand-washing stations.

Source: AP

In Northern California, temperatures have dipped into the 30s at night, which is causing a worry for people living outdoors while they wait for the fire to be contained.

Source: Redding Searchlight

As of Thursday, at least 56 people have been confirmed dead in the Camp Fire, with over 130 still missing. The entire town of Paradise was lost in the fire.


The wildfire in Southern California has been blamed for at least three deaths so far, and has burned at least 150 square miles. It will likely take months for people to piece their lives back together again.

Source: AP