Californians reflect after fleeing homes as fire came close

AP Photo/Noah Berger

A volunteer passes supplies donated to Thomas fire evacuees in Ventura, Calif., on Wednesday.

VENTURA, Calif.— They ran for their lives by the thousands when the devastating wildfires raced across a huge swath of brush-covered Southern California hillsides, and they survived even if their homes didn’t. Some lost everything. Others returned to find their homes still standing but put in danger a second time when flames that had seemed to spare them returned, pushed back in their direction by unpredictable winds. Here are some stories of evacuees.