As of July 13, it has been 525,948.967 minutes since the Dixie Fire raged through Plumas County and surrounding areas destroying close to 1,000,000 acres and lasting for 60+ days. We refer to the minutes since during this fire, many lived minute to minute not knowing what direction the fire would go next, how quickly it would move and most importantly, would it knock on their door.
Sadly, it knocked on the doors of many communities two which were leveled, Greenville and Canyon Dam.
Though this has been an ordeal and tragedy for the greater Lake Almanor Basin Community, there is always something to be learned and even more so, is it possible that good can come of something such as Dixie that left many shell-shocked? In the case of our community, the answer is yes.
Within five days of the fire, the newly formed Almanor Foundation started the Wildfire Relief Fund recognizing that there will be many in need — from housing to gas to food to the basics of “just living” whether it was finding a place to stay during the many days of evacuation to how they might get home to those who lost their homes and wondered, “what will we do?” Greenville, with 80% of the town razed, began a resource center and continue to fight the battle for those who homes and businesses were lost.
As the fire continued, local communities immediately came together. Residents of Canyon Dam and Greenville, though their town was gone, began donating time, money and personal effort to others not bullied by what Dixie had done to their home and/or livelihood. The Feather River Tourism Association stepped up knowing that there would be many regular guests saying, “I guess Almanor is off our list.” With that in mind and with no containment in sight, they began working diligently with lodging providers to inform visitors that “we are open” and yes, some areas remain as beautiful and pristine as they remembered from their last visit.
As all worked together in the midst of Dixie, in its aftermath and recovery, they all came even more committed to “doing more,” i.e., improving and building on ideas that now they could implement for a better quality of life with more opportunities for growth and economic development.
Would anyone say having a forest fire cut a path of destruction through your community is a good thing? Absolutely not! But what we can say is the resilience, dedication, commitment and the ability to band together to rise up has been heartwarming, amazing, encouraging and allowing us all to recognize that where we call home is more than special . . . it has our heart and soul.
For more information of what to expect after the Dixie Fire, visit Dixie Fire Update for Summer 2022 or Visiting Lassen Volcanic National Park after the Dixie Fire.
To see some of the images from the Dixie Fire Stories Project visit their facebook page it will give you a small glimpse of what many went through during the last year.