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Frustrations Grow Among Some Evacuees at Camp Fire Shelters

Frustration is growing for some Camp Fire evacuees living in shelters in Butte County.

Posted: Dec 11, 2018 12:14 PM
Updated: Dec 11, 2018 12:31 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Frustration is growing for some Camp Fire evacuees living in shelters in Butte County.

Action News Now has received multiple calls and emails about conditions at Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico. Reporter Luna Nas visited the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds which has housed over 700 evacuees and spoke with some of them about the conditions. 

One Paradise man said he has grown tired of the living conditions. 

"We've lost our homes and now we're losing our rights," said Kenneth Deigal, an evacuee from Paradise. 

Deigal said that many restrictions are placed on the evacuees staying at the shelter. 

"If you're caught outside the gate past 10 p.m., the gates are shut and you are shut out," he said. "We're not allowed to have any kinds of drinks next to our beds and we're not allowed to store food." 

Some evacuees have been transitioned into multiple shelters in the past month and their frustrations have mounted. 

"I'm trying to abide by the rules but I have a compromised immune system," Deigal said. "I don't know what I'm going to do now. I guess I just hold on as long as I can but there are other people who have already walked out of here that are fed up with all of the rules." 

The Red Cross says they are well aware of the complaints coming from evacuees.

"Everyone wants their freedom," said Steve Walsh of the Red Cross. "They don't want to be here. Anyone who is at a shelter, they are not here by choice. They have to be here because they don't have a lot of options and we're trying to accommodate them to get them home." 

Representatives say that they are doing their best to accommodate evacuees with the resources that they have, while also being empathetic to the situation.  

"I can certainly understand the fatigue over being moved once, maybe twice," Walsh said. "So that's why we want to get to a needs and get them to a place that's more comfortable." 

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