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Local nonprofit helping families have a place to rest as they escape the Dixie Fire flames

Amber Couch and her two children are staying in Reno after being forced out of their home in Milford because of the Dixie Fire. Coral Apple Foundation purchased over 100 rooms for evacuees thanks to several donations.

Posted: Aug 19, 2021 11:47 PM
Updated: Aug 19, 2021 11:48 PM

CHICO, Calif. - Thousands of people have been forced out of their homes because of the Dixie Fire.

Over 16,000 buildings remained threatened on Thursday.

Evacuees and survivors are leaving their homes with their families and whatever they can take and getting out.

In the East zone of the Dixie Fire, a family was forced out of their home from Milford.

Now, they're in Reno, after the nonprofit Coral Apple put them and several other families in a much-needed hotel room.

"We have been staying out of the car or in tents, or wherever we can find to go," said Amber Couch over the phone.

Couch and her family of three left their home in Milford Monday night, with whatever their car could carry, after getting the order to leave now.

"It's me, my 16-year-old daughter, and my two-year-old son."

With the help of the Coral Apple foundation, Amber and her children are staying at The Nugget, 80 miles away in Reno.

"It really, really truthfully is," she said. "He's so confused and he's having a really hard time adjusting and not having his toys."

Hills less than 10 miles away are no longer visible from North Chico because of all the smoke from the Dixie Fire.

Families just like Amber's are looking for a chance to reset and are getting that chance after escaping the flames.

"We didn't want to panic people, we wanted people to be prepared," said Stephen Murray, founder of Coral Apple Foundation. "So my main goal was to get hotels for evacuees."

And that's exactly what Murray accomplished with several donations, booking more than 100 rooms for evacuees.

"We basically raised $10,000 dollars on a Facebook fundraiser, and that's just one community helping another," he said.

"As small as it may seem, when you don't have that roof over your head, it's such a big impact on your life," said Couch. "Being a single mother and raising two children, money is really tight."

The Coral Apple Foundation is still taking donations.

Murray said Thursday, they helped out 16 families.

Over 6,000 personnel are fighting the Dixie Fire on both the East and West zones.

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We had beautiful weather around northern California on Friday with sunshine and more warmth. Saturday will also be fantastic, so get out and enjoy it! A welcome change to our very dry weather pattern is coming soon.
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