Evacuees make the best of huge tent city in Calistoga

CALISTOGA, Calif. (KTVU) -- Thursday was the fifth full day that thousands of people were out of their homes since the Valley Fire started, with many of them living at the Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga. 

it seems most people were making the best of a bad situation.

"Just coming together as a community to try to make it through this," said evacuee Christine Djernes.

On Thursday, young people seemed to be making any move they can to keep their minds occupied.

"Playing board games and skating around," one teenage boy said.

Some were playing football. Two 13-year-old girls were braiding each other's hair. The friends have had two different experiences with the fire. One lost her home.

"Yeah. It kind of sucks knowing that my house isn't there and I can't go back home," said Alle Vierra.

Her friend Mylie Turney's home survived the fire.

"I know that they'll make it. And I know that my house is ok and that we will welcome people to stay at our house. So, I'm going to try to help everybody," she said.

While much of the activity there is dedicated to keeping life as normal as possible, a lot of it is aimed at overall health and wellness. There's acupuncture, massage and even haircuts.

"By these lovely hair stylists for free. And it's really cool because I feel really good," said Cindy Marshall after her haircut.

Marshall has had an exceedingly difficult time. She lost her home. Then on Wednesday, her husband had a heart attack. "Yeah, he had a heart attack. But he's doing good. He's at Sutter Health Santa Rosa and they're taking excellent care of him." She added it was partly due to stress. "Yes, because we're from Middletown and we lost everything. The house evaporated. There's nothing left."

Christine Djernes was having some stress vanquished with a massage after her parents lost their home. "Just anything to make people feel good is important when they've been through something so traumatic," she said.

Even volunteers need a break, which is why Concord-based healing therapist Will Scott was getting acupuncture. He said many people he's helped have broken down because they have lost everything. "Once they talk for a while, one way or another they say now, I rebuild, I start over. So, they resilience of the human spirit is amazing."

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