(TNS) - Like nomads, thousands of people fleeing the ferocious 75,000-acre Kincade Fire have been migrating south — town to town — trying to stay a step ahead of the destructive blaze that has been steadily expanding since it broke out near Geyserville last Wednesday night.
Many of the more than 180,000 evacuees moved into the homes of family and friends to await news of when they can safely return, hopefully to homes that are still standing. But many others have had to sleep in evacuation centers, their cars and RVs, county fairgrounds and even campgrounds. Hotels across the region have been booked solid by fire refugees.
On Tuesday, the Petaluma KOA campground was teeming with evacuees allowed to take the camp sites of recreational visitors who were asked to leave last Saturday.
Among them was Becky Ferris and her husband, who set up a tent there with neighbors and friends after leaving their home in Santa Rosa, near Coffey Park. For them, the memory of the deadly Tubbs Fire just two years ago was still fresh — its flames stopping only 300 yards from her home, Ferris said.
“The winds that are supposed to come tonight are concerning, but we’re trying to take it minute by minute,” she said. Although she was hoping to return home the next day, she extended her reservation until Saturday in case the evacuation isn’t lifted.