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Anxious Evacuees Search For Answers Of Any Kind

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Evacuee Tracy DeFrancesco (credit: CBS)

Evacuee Tracy DeFrancesco (credit: CBS)

LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s been nerve-racking for evacuees of the High Park Fire knowing 118 structures have been damaged or lost, but not knowing which ones. All they can do is wait.

Late Sunday the evacuees were relocated from the evacuation center in Laporte to The Ranch on the Larimer County Fairgrounds on the east side of Loveland. Officials have been holding community briefings daily at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., with more than 800 people attending.

The briefings have been an opportunity for people to get any kind of information to lower their anxiety and get some understanding about what has been happening with the fire.

“We live in the mountains, that’s part of living in the mountains,” evacuee Cheryle Pratt said. “You do what you have to do to defend your home, and after that you get out with your life.”

Pratt was at the evacuation center with her daughter. They say being together is what matters the most.

“We’re going to go if it’s gone, and pleasantly surprised if it’s there,” evacuee Char Lyons said.

Evacuees just want information to give them some kind of direction, good or bad.

“Not a lot of answers and an awful lot of anxiety,” a man said.

Firefighters said the structures that have burned are located mostly in Rist Canyon, Stove Prairie, Paradise Patch and Poudre Canyon areas. It’s not easy for people with homes in those areas to hear.

Tracy DeFrancesco just recently lost her daughter, and now possibly her home.

“We’re just trying to hang in there,” she said.

For some it’s not the first wildfire they have experienced and they know it won’t be the last.

“The good Lord gives you peace in the midst of the storm, so that’s the way I get through it,” a woman said. “

The community briefings will continue at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily as long as needed.

There were no further evacuations on Monday.

Wildfire Resources

- Visit CBSDenver.com’s Wildfire Resources section.

- Read recent Wildfire stories.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

- See images from the most destructive wildfire (Fourmile Fire) and largest wildfire (Hayman Fire) in Colorado history.

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