CHICO, Calif. (KGO) -- We found an overflow crowd in the Butte County Agriculture Commission Office Thursday morning. Most left without receiving a letter that would have allowed then back into their burned properties to tend their animals.
Why? The well-intentioned announcement and press release omitted one word-- commercial.
There were tears on the face of Beth Hall from Butte Valley. She left behind a couple of chickens. Her place is all right. "Just need to spread a bag of feed." But those chickens are not commercial.
"The one difference between commercial and my animals is hamburger," said Jim Hart.
More of what Hart said is unprintable. His place in Concow burned but he has horses who survived, and he has seen pictures.
"There is no water in the trough."
Butte County Agriculture Commissioner Louie Mendoza is doing the best he can with a policy he did not make.
"If only they had added that word 'commercial' we wouldn't be in this position. We're trying our best."
We watched him in action. Patient man.
The letter would allow passage though roadblocks.
"I thought it would get us back earlier," said a cat owner who drove two hours. "It was our best shot." She and her husband will need to wait.
Patience is beginning to run thin.
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