UC SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Since it opened, approximately 70 people have been through the evacuation center at the University California, Santa Barbara since the Thomas Fire first spread into Santa Barbara County, according to Jennifer Ramie with the American Red Cross.
The numbers have dropped, but the shelter will remain open until the last evacuation order ends.
Jordan Myers and Laura Lovillo headed home to Ojai Tuesday. The couple was forced to leave their house four days ago as the fire moved dangerously close. When Jordan was asked what was going through his mind at the time he said, “Terror, it’s scary.”
It hasn't been easy for Bradley Myers (no relation) either. The local musician doesn't know the status of his home. He also has concerns about one of his favorite Ojai music halls.
“I don’t know if it [Deer Lodge] is still standing or not,” said Myers. “But I played many, many Thursday nights.”
No one ever wants to leave their home when so much is still unknown, but Ramie, who has been with the Red Cross for eight years, says she tries her best to understands the pain for evacuees. That’s why offering a welcoming shelter is so important.
“Our job is to make sure it’s as comfortable as possible,” said Ramie. “This is certainly no replacement for a home but we do our best to just make sure that folks feel comfortable.”
For Jordan and Laura, the shelter is, in a strange way, something they'll miss.
“They basically had everything to accommodate us and stuff for my dog and everything, (I am) kind of sad to go,” said Jordan.