With 1,200 El Dorado and Amador county residents leaving their homes this weekend because of the Sand Fire, neighboring communities have stepped in to provide clothing and shelter evacuees and their animals.
As of noon on Sunday, the Amador County fairgrounds had taken in 12 horses, seven rabbits, 15 chickens, two dogs, three cats and seven goats, said Karen Spencer, the marketing director for the Amador County Fair.
“We’re right in the middle of our fair, but our livestock people are just moving over and making room,” she said.
The fire doesn’t seem to have affected fair attendance, but the plumes of smoke can be seen in the distance, she said.
Larger animals are being taken to the Amador County fairgrounds in Plymouth at 18621 Sherwood St. or El Dorado County fairgrounds in Placerville at 100 Placerville Dr. Smaller animals are taken at Ponderosa High School at 3661 Ponderosa Rd. in Shingle Springs.
The blaze, which was 35 percent contained as of Sunday afternoon, has destroyed 10 homes and seven outbuildings.
While the Red Cross has been able to provide clothes and food for the evacuees, the neighboring communities have joined the organization to help.
Rodney Stanhope of Placerville was asked by the Red Cross to reach out to community members for new undergarments.
Stanhope and other volunteers are collecting donations at the New Hope Church at 3838 Ponderosa Rd in Shingle Springs.
“We’ve got like 10 bags of new and slightly new clothes,” Stanhope said.
Stanhope reached out on Facebook about the need for underwear and has received calls from people wanting to help, including one that was headed to Walmart to get underwear and socks for the evacuees, he said. The Facebook page also has been flooded with residents offering their homes to those evacuated by the fire.
“Everybody wants to help,” Stanhope said.