Oakhurst community rallying together for evacuees


As we head into day five of the Detwiler Fire, evacuees continue to make their way into the various emergency shelters in Oakhurst. As they settle in their new community, many in Oakhurst have gone out of their way to make sure they have everything they need.

Kathy Bratt has been in Oakhurst for the past three days. Normally on a summer day, she is relaxing in some chairs in her cul-de-sac in Mariposa with her husband and neighbors.

Since evacuating, the summer relaxation has turned into anxiety. Right now, Bratt and her neighbors believe the fire is just two miles away from their homes. They all have fire insurance, but that kind of comfort isn’t enough to keep them from worrying about dealing with the aftermath.

“It’s going to be stressful and it’s going to be hard. [These homes] were all of our retirement homes,” Bratt said.

Businesses in Oakhurst have been making constant trips to the shelters in town dropping off donations. It’s all made evacuees feel more comfortable in their temporary homes.

Bratt said Jack in the Box gave evacuees discounts, Starbucks gave free coffee, and a local pet store gave her and her neighbors free dog food.

Donadtions have helped the shelters in town keep up with the demand. However, as the fire begins to claim homes, the need for cash donations rises.

“To the people whose homes have burned down, we provide lodging assistance and a little bit of money to get them going,” said Julie Doyle, supervisor of the EV Free Church shelter.

To donate money to Red Cross, you can do it online at redcross.org, you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or you can text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a quick $10 donation.

You can still donate items directly to the shelters, below are all the shelters established for Detwiler Fire evacuees:

  • EV Free Church: 50443 School Rd, Oakhurst
  • Sierra Vista Presbyterian: 39696 Hwy 41, Oakhurst
  • Mountain Christian Center: 40299 Hwy 49, Oakhurst
  • Cesar Chavez Middle School: 161 Plainsburg Rd, Planada
  • Sonora Fairgrounds: 220 Southgate, Sonora

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