The fire pushed everyone from the countryside into town. The refugees arrive with all their belongings in their arms or strapped to livestock; the infirm are riding horses and the mules and oxen are dragging carts behind them. A few arrive in cars. All of them arrive to find a prosperous town “coming apart at its seams.”
Frightened children peek out of their screen doors and men are soaking their lawns and roofs with water, hoping the fire will find nothing to burn. Women are piling their most precious belongings in the street; they are torn as they have to decide what can be...
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