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French Gulch is a small town in a valley that is surrounded by the Carr Fire. About 30 miles away from Redding, it's been under evacuation orders for days, but some residents still remain.

It's been exactly a week since the Carr Fire started and, so far, French Gulch has dodged a bullet. No matter which direction you look, you'll see land that's been burned to ash.

Yet, a relatively small area -- Main Street -- has remained intact. That's where you'll find 20-or-so of about 300 residents who decided to stay behind. At least half of them can be found at the French Gulch Hotel and Saloon. It has a TV, air conditioning, and they're providing free food and water and cold drinks to those who remain.

The holdouts stay vigilant, looking for the wall of flames that will let them know that their luck finally has run out. Even then, many won't be leaving.

"I know they [firefighters] don't want us here, but in certain instances, we can be just as valuable as they can," says hotel owner, Eric Jue. "When they pull in to protect this place, I'll be fighting right alongside them. I will be in it with them."


Also see | How to defend your home from wildfires


One more before you go: Devastating fires aren't just a rural problem anymore. As our climate and communities change, so does when and where wildfires will strike next. ABC10's Monica Woods shows why:

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