Williams Fire Evacuees Endure Waiting Game

Evacuees find shelter at Glendora High School.

As dark smoke continues to billow in the mountains above Glendora, evacuees at a temporary shelter at anxiously wait for word to return home.

The American Red Cross set up the shelter Monday morning and slowly several of the estimated 1,100 evacuees have trickled in.

The Obole family arrived at the shelter after fleeing the rapidly approaching blaze just miles from their home at Williams Camp Sunday.

Andrea Obole said the past 24 hours had left her emotionally drained, worrying about the welfare of her children and wondering when they’ll be able to return home.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” said Obole, who has lived in Williams Camp with her husband Robert and three small children for four years. “We’re just waiting and trying to keep the kids entertained.”

Most of the evacuees were reported to be temporary campers or visitors, but there are tracts of prefabricated and mobile homes in the area.

Fire officials have not reported any damages to homes or structures. Officials say the wildfire is retreating toward wilderness and does not appear to threaten communities below.

Shelter manager Linda Wright said the shelter will remain open until the evacuation has been lifted, but the fire department has not indicated when that will be.

, but fire officials say only 5 percent of the blaze is contained.

“It’s just hour by hour,” said Wright. “We don’t know if the fire will shift with the winds, anything can happen. We’re just here to take care of the people that need a place to stay and offer them food and shelter.”

The Red Cross has set up cots in Glendora High School’s gymnasium and is serving breakfast, lunch and dinner for evacuees.

So far the shelter has served 10 evacuees, although Wright says they may see more as the evacuation continues.

“We’ll be here as long as residents don’t have access to their homes or need a place to say,” said Wright. “How long that will be, I don’t know. But hopefully, we’ll know more by tomorrow.”

The American Red Cross evacation shelter is located at Glendora High School, 1600 E. Foothill Blvd. 

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