In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo Michael Jones organizes a pile of donated blankets, sleeping bags and clothes in a fairgrounds parking lot that's become home to some of the people displaced by California's deadliest wildfire in Chico, Calif. Jones lost nearly everything he owns when the fire destroyed his trailer and his mom's home in Paradise last month, but he's determined to stay put because he doesn't want to be a burden on his friends and relatives. (AP Photo/Jonathan J. Cooper)

Some California fire victims were already living on the edge

December 06, 2018 - 1:58 pm

CHICO, Calif. (AP) — The future is uncertain for many of those driven out by the deadly wildfire in Northern California, but it's uniquely challenging for those who were homeless or nearly so even before the flames swept through and took what little they had.

Steve Wilson, who was homeless in Chico before the disaster a month ago, has seen the streets grow more crowded with others like him. He says hustling for handouts has gotten tougher because people are giving their money to fire victims instead.

On the other hand, he says, homeless people are blending in with the fire victims and are less likely to get hassled by police for pitching tents and living on the streets.

The fire destroyed 14,000 homes and killed at least 85 people.

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