About 30 homes near Eureka were evacuated before dawn today after the fast-growing Gibraltar Ridge Fire was discovered east of town. People quickly mobilized to provide a shelter at the Church of God.
Lora Ercanbrack is with the American Red Cross relief team in Lincoln County. She arrived to the church shelter early Tuesday morning around 6 a.m. to greet weary evacuees, some of whom had already been up for several hours.
“Getting up in the middle of the night, someone warns you there is a fire really close and you just kind of grab what you can and run as fast as you can, I would assume that’s pretty devastating,” Ercanbrack says.
The Red Cross and community volunteers have been feeding evacuees, setting up cots for sleeping and helping them get information.
“People have stopped by to help, to offer to bring things. We’ve had companies drop off pallets of water and fans because the building we are in does not air conditioning so we’re able to cool it off."
Ercanbrack says more evacuees are expected as evacuations continue.
Tony Burns made his way to the shelter around 3:30 Tuesday morning after he abandoned his campsite just outside Eureka. He was on vacation from the Texas-Arkansas border area. His vacation was cut abruptly short when he began to see smoke plumes in the near distance.
“This being the first time being in a wildfire, I was kind of scared about the situation because I am not used to anything like that," Burns said. "I am used to where I am from, its tornadoes and floods. You cannot outrun a wildfire.”