Some Lava Fire evacuees rejoice as they’re allowed to return home

SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. — In the midst of a challenging week for many, firefighters continue to battle both the Lava and Tennant fires. Despite this, some residents received good news Thursday.

Starting Thursday, Lake Shastina and Carrick residents are allowed back in their homes.  A moment they didn’t think would come this soon.

Jim and Gerry West have called Lake Shastina home for the last 14 years.

On Monday, Gerry looked out her kitchen window and saw smoke. That’s when she knew it was time to go.

“My husband came in and said we better leave so I thought I don’t wanna leave but we did,” said West.

The two-headed to the Red Cross Evacuation Center at Jackson Street School in Yreka. West says it’s comforting being with others going through the same thing.

“To have someone else go through it with you that is a victim also, it makes a big difference than if you’re alone because there are a lot of people in there alone,” said West.

Over the last 4 days, the couple never lost hope.

‘”I was trying to resign myself to the thought that we might not, and I thought well okay if we don’t we’ll start over,” said West.

Bryan Schenone is the Director of Emergency Services in Siskiyou County and has been keeping an eye on things.

“I’ve been here every day since this was open, I’ve met some great people, and it felt like every day I would walk in and I hate bringing this news but we need you guys to stay a couple more days,” said Schenone.

The news they were waiting for arrived on Thursday from Cal Fire. The announcement that Lake Shastina residents could return home.

“To deliver that, I got to say it got me,” said Schenone.

The couple packed their bags, hopeful they’ll be able to call Lake Shastina home for another 14 years.

“I can’t wait to get home and maybe take a shower and just be where we belong,” said West.

To keep up with the latest evacuation updates Siskiyou County urges residents to call 211.

NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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