Creek Fire evacuees camping out, volunteering at Clovis church

CLOVIS, Calif. (KSEE) — Clovis Hills Community Church has opened its parking lot for people escaping the Creek Fire. Some are camping out in tents while others are in donated RVs.

The church is also giving out donated supplies to evacuees and first responders, and many of the volunteers are evacuees themselves.

“It’s been emotional because starting yesterday, or actually the day before, there was so many families coming through that had just found out they lost their homes, and I feel really fortunate that mine’s not, but it’s heartbreaking to see these families coming through, and yesterday more families coming through that lost their homes, and I just had to take a break,” said Michelle Lewis, who evacuated from North Fork last Sunday.

She was staying with a friend in Atwater and driving every day to volunteer at the church in Clovis, until someone offered her an RV to stay in with her daughter and sister.

“It’s really touching how the community has come together for all the mountain families,” said Lewis.

The church had about six families staying in RV’s donated by people like Tony Gonzales, who lent his trailer to a different family that was sleeping in their car.

“Basically I said, ‘Don’t thank me. I’m doing nothing. This is what the community should be doing,” said Gonzales.

“People can stay here as long as they need to, especially if they can’t get a hotel right away from the Red Cross,” said Michelle Pellerin, serve director for Clovis Hills Community Church.

Clovis Hills Community Church Shawn Beaty says they have plenty of supplies for the evacuees and first responders, so they’re pausing donations until Tuesday. After that, you can find a list of needed items on their Facebook page.

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