California woman seeks refuge in Las Vegas while Thomas Fire rips through her neighborhood
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) —
California wildfires have forced more than 100,000 people to evacuate their neighborhoods, many of them seeking refuge wherever they can.
One woman who packed her bags actually ended up right here in Las Vegas.
Catherine Marciel has been living in Carpinteria for the last three years, she says she's seen wildfires in the past, but the way the Thomas Fire is ripping through her neighborhood is something she's never witnessed before.
"Never in a million years would I think it would get this close to my house. I always thought I live within a mile of the ocean, I walk down there all the time. I thought I’ll be safe," said Marciel
Catherine says when she saw the flames getting closer to her home and the smoke starting to fill the air she knew it was time to leave.
So she packed her bags grabbed her two dogs and drove 5-hours to Las Vegas.
Catherine has been staying at the MGM Grand since Sunday, her dogs are at a nearby daycare. Suffering from asthma, Catherine says getting away from the smoke and falling ash was her best bet.
"When you're packing up and your thinking okay, I have an x-amount of room to put everything in my life that's valuable to me," said Marciel.
Initially, her home fell under a mandatory evacuation, now that's been lifted to voluntary, but the Thomas Fre is still burning close to her home so she plans to stay put.
Catherine says this has been a tough week, but she left California with the one thing that matters most.
"Your life is important, that's all that really matters," said Marciel.
At last check, her home was not damaged, she says she plans to stay put until Thursday at which point she’ll reanalyze the situation.