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Neighbors Helping People Victimized By Butte Fire

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Calaveras County residents have been donating clothes, food, toiletries, and furniture for the victims of the Butte Fire.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

People continue to donate to victims of the Butte Fire in Amador and Calaveras Counties. Some collection sites are not run by any agencies or groups. Folks say it's their way of helping their neighbors.

The doors are open wide at the building known as Mountain Ranch in Calaveras County. Typically, it's a cattle ranch and a fruit and vegetable stand.

These days, a sign out front offers food and toiletries to  anyone who needs them.

0922 15 bm Sue Kravitz

Sue Kravitz runs the ranch with her husband Doug.  

"A lot of them are so burned out, they're getting trailers and bringing them to their property. So, they're gonna need stuff now."

The original Mountain Ranch house was built 163 years ago. It almost didn't make it to 164.

0922 15 bm mountain ranch butte fire close call

The Butte Fire skirted it on three sides. Sue says two dozen people came to help when the fire got close.

In the town of Mountain Ranch, people who weren't so lucky go to the Youth Alliance Resource Center on Whiskey Slide Road where the large parking lot is full of supplies.

Patty Jarratt is a volunteer.

"Clothing, food, camping gear, diapers," she says, "anything somebody may need when they have left their homes."

Patty lost her home in the fire.

So did Christine Sparks and Mike Alander.

They came to the center to see what was available and were grateful to leave with a bed, kitchen supplies, and towels.

"It's amazing. Absolutely amazing what people are doing," says Christine.

"This community's really come together strong," says Mike, "and they're showing what this community's about."

At last count, 545 homes were destroyed in the Butte Fire.

0922 15 bm butte fire burnt home