Arizona wildfire: For evacuees, patience is a tough order
PRESCOTT, Ariz. - Lynette Carter lit a cigarette. Her husband, Bill, paced.
They were tired, having been jolted at 1:30 a.m. by the bullhorns and knocking by law enforcement to flee their home. But they were also restless, and worried.
She said their mobile home - perched on a picturesque hill in Peeples Valley - was a source of pride and the byproduct of a good deal of hard work. She was anxious because she didn’t know what they would find when they returned.
“We worked hard to get into that place, and to lose it - that’s nuts,” said Lynette, 38. “All you can do is be patient.”
On Monday, the Carters, with their two dogs in tow, came to the Red Cross shelter that had been set up on the campus of Yavapai College here.
She kept looking at her phone, at the photos and videos she’d captured before the evacuation. A fog of smoke filled the air, flickers of orange peeked over the hills and trees not far in the distance.
“We could lose everything, “ Lynette said. “Everything.”
“I don’t know what we can do,” said Bill, 41.
She works at a supermarket in nearby Wickenburg; he’s a disabled truck driver. He said that they lived paycheck to paycheck.
At one point she was working three jobs so they could get the mobile home, leaving behind Salt Lake City. They sought out the quiet comfort of Peeples Valley - “getting out of the rat race of the city,” as Bill put it.
The two dogs, both terriers, were holding up, sniffing strangers and cuddling against Lynette’s leg. She smiled. “I think they’re doing better than we are,” she said.
Lynette and Bill didn’t really want to eat, nor could they catch up on sleep.
“Every once in a while, we try to go in there and lay down,” she said. “It just doesn’t work.”
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