Makeshift Evacuee Camp at Chico Walmart to Close by Sunday
Walmarts Chico, CA parking lot is now a camp for fire evacuees
- A Walmart parking lot in Chico, California, is now the site of a makeshift evacuee camp.
- Californians fleeing the disastrous Camp Fire have gathered in the store's parking lot.
- Volunteers have also converged in the area to help fire victims.
A Walmart parking lot in Chico, California, is now doubling as a evacuee camp for Californians fleeing the devastating Camp Fire.
CBS reported that the fire has displaced thousands of people in Northern California. The Camp Fire's death toll has reached 56, making it the deadliest wildfire in California history.
One group of evacuees is now living in makeshift shelters in the parking lot of a Chico, California, Walmart.
Walmart director of communications Tiffany Wilson told Business Insider, "We are proud of how the community has rallied to respond to the needs of the fire survivors and evacuees in the wake of this devastating Camp Fire. To strengthen the community's relief efforts, our Chico store along with Walmart stores in the surrounding communities have provided continuous support with donations of food, water, personal care items, blankets, pillows, hygiene products and other necessities."
Wilson said that local stores have "donated funds, supplies, and merchandise to local shelters, the American Red Cross, Butte County Sheriff, Hope Center and local churches among others."
Read more:I t was a thriving town of 27,000, and now it's smoldering ash; here's how Paradise, California, became a fire trap
On November 12, actor James Woods asked Walmart to keep the bathrooms in the store open for evacuees via Twitter. The company replied that it would provide fire victims with portable bathrooms, blankets, sleeping bags, and water.
Bay Area news station Kron 4 reported that volunteers were converging on the parking lot as well, passing out free meals, clothing, and water, and managing donations.
"All of us here are in the same situation — whether you lost a trailer or a really nice home, we're all in the same place," fire evacuee Laura Whitaker told The Chico Enterprise-Record.
Other evacuees in the camp told the local newspaper that Walmart had given them a 0 gift card.
On its Facebook page, Walmart's Chico location said that the company has created a foundation for Camp Fire victims. The company will reportedly donate 0,000 to the cause.
"Walmart has been a part of the Chico community for nearly 25 years and our hearts go out to everyone affected by this natural disaster," Wilson said in a statement to Business Insider. "We know this is a difficult time and want our customers, associates and neighbors to be safe and have the support they need."
In response to Business Insider's inquiry about CBS Sacramento's report that the company asked fire victims to vacate the parking lot by 1 p.m. on Sunday, Wilson said that Walmart has not set any relocation deadlines for evacuees.
"We share the city and county's concern for the health, safety and well-being of all the wildfire evacuees," Wilson said.
Video: Camp Fire: Evacuees camp outside Walmart parking lot in Chico
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