Valley Fire: Largest evacuation center in Napa County to close Thursday


CALISTOGA (KRON) — The Valley Fire continues to burn, and the temporary shelter at the Napa County Fairgrounds, which was once home to hundreds of people, will be closing at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

In Calistoga, workers are dragging away abandoned tents at the fairgrounds, as officials prepare to close the temporary shelter.

“It’s been great here,” evacuee Christine Bartholomew said. “I don’t want to leave. It’s been a home away from home.”

Bartholomew lives on Cobb Mountain and said she was told her home survived the fire, but even so, she’s unsure on where she’ll go when the fairgrounds close.

“We just hope that Cal Fire will say we can go home or go to Cobb,” Bartholomew said.

Many evacuees have already left for the Twin Pine Casino and hotel in Middletown or the Hidden Valley Lake Golf Course. Both locations are serving as shelters.

Bartholomew said she has plans if she’s allowed to go home.

“We will be opening it up once we clean it out, and opening it up to families in need if it is still there…which i am pretty sure it is,” Bartholomew said.

Friends of hers said they’re not quite sure what’s next.

“I’m going to be probably staying at my grandma’s for a while until they open up the roads,” Rocky Carlin  said. “So you can get through Cobb, and then we might go to Clear Lake and live in this summer home that we were offered,” Bartholomew’s friend said.

Bartholomew said one thing is for sure. She won’t forget this place.

“A shelter that offered three meals a day, laundry service, clean toilets, and comradery with others who felt the pain of the Valley Fire,” Bartholomew said. “The support here has been wonderful, and if we could only see this all over the world, it would be a small miracle.”

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