By Mimi Teller-Rosicky, Red Cross Volunteer

Lead Photo by Mimi Teller-Rosicky (additional photos by Roxanne Shorbach)

Over Labor Day weekend, Los Angeles experienced the largest wildfire in recent history as the hills behind La Tuna Canyon went up in flames. With mandatory evacuations in place for local residents, many sought refuge in three Red Cross shelters in Burbank, La Crescenta and Sunland.

Included in those forced to evacuate was La Tuna Canyon resident Kenny Hutchings. Kenny is no stranger to wildfire evacuations. It was only last summer, during the 2016 Sand Canyon fire, that he was forced from his Santa Clarita home. When the La Tuna Canyon fire erupted last Friday night, Kenny was once again forced to evacuated, leaving with the only the clothes on his back. Arriving at work later that day for his Support Manager job at Walmart, Kenny shared his story with colleagues. When word reached his manager that Kenny was forced to evacuate his home due to the raging fire, he was instructed to get anything he needed from the store. Happy for some much needed help, Kenny obliged and equipped himself with one pair of pants and a new shirt. Not satisfied with his minimalist acquisitions, Kenny’s manager encouraged his employee to take a total of three pairs of pants, three shirts, a toothbrush, toothpaste and the other essentials.

After work, Kenny gathered his new evacuation supplies and headed to a Red Cross shelter. He ended up safe and sound at the McCambridge Park emergency shelter in Burbank, where he stayed with his girlfriend and her dog, Bonzai, until it was safe to head back home.

As of Monday September 4, all evacuation orders were lifted and residents staying at Red Cross shelters to escape the flames headed back to their homes. In all, three structures were lost due to the La Tuna Canyon fire.

View more of Roxanne Shorbach’s photos from the McCambridge Evacuation Shelter on FLICKR, here.


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