By Gabriel Hydrick
Plumas County Administrator
Anyone living in Plumas County has heard about many organizations, agencies and businesses helping with the effort to recover and rebuild after the Dixie Fire. What has not been clear is how all those efforts fit together. Hopefully, this will help everyone see the big picture and how the pieces fit.
While the County is the hub through which governmental support flows, it is common practice after a disaster to create a long- term recovery group. The group begins at the community level to make sure that it is the community’s voice that is being heard. If the community has a single voice to guide recovery, it will make the best use of everyone’s effort and give the rebuild the best possibility of success. In our case, the Dixie Fire Collaborative is that long term recovery group.
The collaborative is not a single organization, but rather a group of partners. These include community members; experts; local, state, federal, and international partner organizations (twenty-eight organizations at last count); and businesses all working and collaborating together. In addition to their partners, there are leaders identified in each community, a rebuilding team, and a steering committee. They keep track of what has been done so far, find out what needs to be done, and create plans to coordinate those efforts.
One example is FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and Cal OES (Office of Emergency Services) meeting with the Collaborative weekly to report on what has been done and what is needed. Another is its current project with Greenville Rotary and the Almanor Chamber of Commerce to find out which residents and businesses want to return to their communities and what help they need. That information will be used to shape plans for rebuilding the community. In response to the community’s voice, private architects and contractors are working with the County Planning Department and the Board of Supervisors to streamline the rebuilding process and get residents back into houses.
The Plumas County Government, led by the Board of Supervisors, is the hub that connects the federal, state and local government with these private efforts. The County relies on the Collaborative to coordinate the private and some public sector efforts and inform the County about what the community needs are. If individuals or groups want to be part of that voice, the County and the Dixie Fire Collaborative invite you to contact the Collaborative’s co-chair, Sue Weber at [email protected]. The county appreciates the Collaborative efforts with all stakeholders through the Dixie Fire Collaborative.