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Fire Evacuees Return Home

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WILLIAMS, Ore. — Williams’ residents are back in their homes after the fire evacuation was lifted.

Residents near the Pacifica Fire were told to evacuate Friday afternoon when the fire began spreading uncontrollably.  Williams’ resident Mike Devee saw the fire heading towards his parent’s house.

“I turned around and saw smoke, and I knew it was close,” said Devee.

Devee and his parents were on standby for a while before they were given the go-ahead to evacuate.

“We thought it was going to jump the road.  We were pretty sure that it was, and when they (firefighters) told us to evacuate, we knew we needed to get them out of here,” said Devee.

However, some residents chose to stay in their homes despite the evacuation.

“I felt safe to be honest with you because we live so far away from the fire.  That’s not far when fire goes, but we were way up there,” said resident Larry Hildebrend.

Hildebrend lives a couple miles up the road from where the fire broke out.  His house did lose power, but he hooked up his generator until the power came back on early this morning.  Just in case though, his family was packed and prepared to leave if necessary.

“The wife had the clothes packed, and we had all the cat cages out on the table, and all we had to do was put the cats in the cage, and I had the truck loaded with paperwork and a few pictures and whatever,” said Hildebrend.

On Friday, the Red Cross opened a disaster relief center at the Josephine County fairgrounds.  Only six evacuees showed up to the center on Friday, and left Friday night when the evacuation was lifted. Currently, the center is on standby.

“We still have everything else here, and the volunteers are on standby so just in case it flares back up or there’s a need… then we will reopen the shelter,” said Red Cross volunteer Brian Anderson.