While Bella is trying to sleep after having been rescued from the woods following the sudden departure of the Cullen family, Charlie receives a phone call. The caller, identified as Mrs. Stanley, informs him that there are fires on the cliffs outside La Push.
It is immediately apparent that Charlie is concerned and confused about these fires, and he immediately calls Billy to "check it out." Billy explains that the fires are being lit intentionally, and Charlie, speaking with "an edge in his voice" of "irritation" or "anger," urges Billy to make sure that the flames do not spread and expresses surprise that people had been able to light fires in the current weather conditions.
When Bella asks Charlie for more information about the fires, Charlie tells her that the kids from the reservation are being "rowdy" and have lit bonfires in celebration of "the news." Bella quickly understands that the news they are celebrating is the same news that has crushed her: Edward has broken up with her and the Cullen family has left town, presumably for good. Bella understands why the Quileutes, whose legends include stories of "the blood-drinkers that were enemies to their tribe," might be celebrating the departure of the Cullens.