CHICO (KPIX 5) — There is a race to move hundreds of Camp Fire evacuees out of a Walmart parking lot in Chico as rain is expected to fall this coming week.

State and county officials and the Red Cross directed evacuees to go to the Butte County Fairgrounds in Gridley, but many found themselves in unofficial relief areas that bridged the area’s immediate need for shelter.

Though there was a steady flow of new arrivals at the fairgrounds on Sunday, they all gave glowing reviews.

People who came to the fairgrounds told other evacuees to not hesitate to come, as it’s not as crowded as some may think. There are plentiful resources there as well.

The Walmart lot in Chico is just one temporary location, but it’s now at the end of its useful lifespan. Evacuees aren’t getting kicked out just yet, but they’re starting to pack up after realizing that they’ll have to relocate soon.

“That’s why they’re moving them out of the churches and the Walmart,”  said Sandy Philip, who lost her Paradise home to the Camp Fire.

But there are still many people scattered in many places.

Matt Nelson is the organizer of a relief effort at the Woodson Bridge RV Park in Tehama County. His biggest challenge is figuring out what to do with the mountains of donations that have arrived before they could tell donors they didn’t need any more due to the incoming rain.

For many, medium or long-term answers just haven’t yet arrived.

“Just one day at a time,” said Philip.



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