FRC’s Book in Common features ‘A Fire Story’

“A Fire Story” by Brian Fies speaks clearly to the experience of living in a fire zone. Join Fies on Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Town Hall Theatre for a free presentation on surviving a catastrophic fire event.

Since 2013, Feather River College has chosen a book each year that focuses on a specific current issue, will appeal to diverse readers and that can become a focus for classes, on and off-campus discussion, and presentations and speakers.

“A Fire Story” is the seventh book that has been chosen as the Book in Common. Other titles have included “The Book Thief,” “The Sixth Extinction,” and “The Devil’s Highway.”

FRC adopted “A Fire Story” by Brian Fies as its book in Common in May 2019 after a long search of many titles. Dr. Chris Connell, FRC faculty member and coordinator of the Book in Common project, said, “We immediately liked the book because it spoke so clearly to our experience of living in the fire zone. The Minerva Fire in 2017 and the Camp Fire in 2018 hit us very closely and we felt that a book that looked at something so near to us would be just the right thing.”

Brian Fies is a cartoonist, journalist and science writer. He has published three graphic books previous to “A Fire Story,” which came out in 2019.

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In October 2017, Fies lost everything in the Tubbs Fire, except what he could quickly grab from his home. He said the only way he could cope with his loss was to write a short comic book style story about the fire.

In conjunction with the reading of “A Fire Story,” FRC is planning a number of events throughout the year that will touch on the theme of wildfire and the affect it has on people and the choices they must make.

In partnership with Plumas Arts, FRC is opening up an opportunity to expand their Book in Common to the community at large with two free events at the Town Hall Theatre.

Fies will present a community talk at the theater Thursday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m., sponsored by FRC’s English Department and the First Year Experience program. 

In addition to the Sept. 19 talk and presentation by Fies, the film “The Human Element” will be shown at the Town Hall Theater on Oct. 17.

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In November there will be an on-campus presentation about forest management and fire suppression. All events will be free.

Fies’ graphic novel, “A Fire Story,” is available for sale at Barn Owl Books on Main Street in Quincy.