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'I've been on television three times'

San Bernardino Mountains:

Nancy Duncan made so many new friends at the Orange Show Fairgrounds evacuation center that she wasn’t sure she wanted to leave today .

“They are having barbecue tonight -- are you sure you don’t want to stay one more night?” she asked her daughter-in-law, Nicole Duncan, 35. “It’s really been wonderful. I got Arnold’s [Schwarzenegger] autograph and played cards with the grandkids in the van. I’ve been on television three times. It’s been really, really wonderful.”

Nicole on the other hand couldn't wait to get home for a real shower. Her kids, however, also wanted to stay.

“I thought there would be more enthusiasm about leaving,” Nicole said.

Authorities today allowed residents of Crestline, Enchanted Valley and Cedar Pines Park to go home, thinning the evacuation center ranks, which numbered about 1,800 Thursday. New numbers were not available.

Chris Navarette, 45, was plenty excited about going home.

“It was nice for awhile but it’s time to go now,” he said. “I feel very fortunate because I have friends who have lost everything.”

Refugees from the Lake Arrowhead, Green Valley Lake, Grass Valley and Running Springs areas remain at the shelter.

-- David Kelly

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