PISMO BEACH, Calif. - The Chirdon family had first told their daughter they were going camping when they packed up their RV on Monday, leaving their home in Ojai behind.
"As we drove out of town, there were many structures burning and [my daughter] noticed from the car and said: "Mom that house is on fire and that one is too.. There are a lot of fires here Mom" and then she said: "We're not on a surprise camping adventure are we?"," Summer Chirdon said.
The Chirdons first made their way to Carpinteria but there was too much smoke. Then they drove north to Santa Barbara and again were greeted with smoke, something they say forced them to leave in the first place.
"It's really hard to be there now. The air quality there is terrible. Most people are leaving because of the air quality and not the fire danger," Summer said.
Now her family has made themselves comfortable in Pismo Beach at the Pismo Coast Village RV Resort. The property is allowing all fire evacuees to stay here for free.
"[Last winter], we went through some big storms. We had a lot of rain in a very short amount of time and really heavy winds. We did have some trees that suffered some damage and we just know what it's like dealing with a disaster of clean up just on that scale but it's not near what these folks are having to go through. We just wanted to make sure we could offer any help in any way we can," explained Reservation's Specialist, Darrel Sisk.
Evacuees don't even have to have an RV, trailer or even a camper to stay at the resort. Local residents have offered up their trailers that are in storage for those in need.
"One of the local trailer rental companies as well has offered up their fleet of trailers for a few weeks for anyone who needs one if they don't have an rv and nowhere else to go. So we can get em a spot and they can get them a trailer," Sisk said.
While the Chirdons say their house is okay so far, they're happy they had an evacuation plan and recommend other families to do the same.
"One of the reasons we bought an RV was to have a plan in case we did need to evacuate because when we decided to move to Ojai, we knew that there was a high danger for fire. So I think having a plan - any type of plan and making sure you can easily get out is really important part of living in California," Chirdon said.
If you're interested in finding out more information about staying at the Pismo Coast Village RV Resort, click here.