Walmart tent city days are numbered

CHICO, Calif. (KGO) -- You've heard about thoughts and prayers?

Here's the next level-- hugs, tears, and tents filling an open field in Chico.

"They didn't even have time to tell us to evacuate," said Christina Hixon, formerly of Paradise. As to the future? Who knows?

MAPS: A look at the Camp Fire in Butte County and other California fires

It's one more variation on a theme of escape and twisted fortune that led so many people, including her, to the tent city outside a Walmart.

"I don't know what to think. I just know my home is gone."

As of Sunday, so will the encampment. On Friday, Butte County will begin moving people to an indoor, Red Cross shelter. Volunteers like Alex Hader have done the heavy lifting until now. He runs a food truck and has spent $15,000 feeding people.

"If they find a place for them, that's great."

It's a smooth operation on the surface, but difficulties appear to be surfacing.

"What are you going to do with 50,000 people homeless, all of a sudden?" asked one camper.

There is concern that perhaps more than the fire has caused this camp to swell. "I think some of the homeless from Chico have moved in here. I don't like to generalize," said Christina.

RELATED: Rescue workers continue grim task of searching for more victims of the Camp Fire

"It's tough but they got to do it because it's getting out of control, I think," said another.

Call it too much of a good thing that's really a band-aide following a horrible wounding.

When you've lost a house...and can't see a future beyond this eerie scene in a once-vacant field outside a Walmart in Chico, well... fill in your own blanks.

See more stories, photos and videos on the Camp Fire in Butte County.
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