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Volunteers happy to have empty beds at fire shelter in Dilley

Photo Credit: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: JOHN SCHRAG - Red Cross volunteers get their marching orders as they prepare to welcome displaced residents from the Scoggins Creek Fire. No evacuees stayed overnight Friday as the blaze continued to spread.Last Friday night was quiet at Dilley Elementary School, which is just the way the Red Cross likes it.

As the Scoggins Creek fire spread quickly Friday afternoon, Red Cross volunteers, who had just shut down their operations in Estacada, scrambled to set up an emergency shelter for anyone displaced by the growing fire near Henry Hagg Lake.

And although they had a few inquiries from those who heeded the evacuation warning, none of the residents ended up using the five cots which were set up in the gym. “We want to be here if they need us,” said volunteer Ann Henderson. “But we hope they don’t.”

The shelter closed Saturday night.

One of the first volunteers to arrive Friday evening was Jerry Mahoney, who lives nearby in Forest Grove, where he and his wife watched the smoke rising above the hills west of town.

“We could see the smoke from our deck as the sun was setting,” said Mahoney, a member of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team. “It was beautiful, but we knew it was going to be bad.”

So, he as expecting the call that came in at about 6:30. About a half-hour later, he was at the school, setting up the cots and putting out other provisions.

He was still there at 8:30 Saturday morning when a new team of volunteers showed up to staff the shelter.

Among them was another nearby resident, Janet Bailey, of North Plains, a long-time Red Cross volunteer who had been helping out at the shelter in Estacada, where families displaced by the 36 Pit Fire had been staying.

She said settling in at Dilley School, which is about 10 miles from North Plains, was a bit more emotional.

“It’s different when it’s in your neighborhood,” she said.

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