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It was described as a "tsunami of fire" that bore down on the town of Greenville on Aug. 4, 2021. Photo by Mike Grant

Greenville resident: My town died yesterday

Editor’s note: Greenville resident Ken KD Donnell, the man who has been keeping us apprised of what was happening in Greenville, is now evacuated and living at least temporarily in Quincy. Plumas News has deputized him to be a roving reporter of sorts. Here is his latest post about the fire.


By Ken Donnell for plumasnews.com

Written in Quincy CA


My town died yesterday.  We fought hard to save Greenville, but Mother Nature came to reclaim what is hers. After many days of valiantly holding back the flames which slowly came to circle Greenville, the fire finally broke through, and with a tsunami of fire that could not be contained by the works of man.   We naively believed we owned Greenville.  But in reality, Mother Nature owned Greenville, and all of us.


There are many broken hearts today among my Greenville friends, mine included.  There is no way to fully describe, nor should there should be any attempt to minimize, the pain which we fire refugees now feel.    I once read that…., ”sooner or later, life breaks all of us, but some of us learn to grow stronger in the broken places.”   I plan to be such a person, and I know there will be many more who are made of the same metal.


Though the physical reality of Greenville is presently a heap of ashes, I know that the spirit of Greenville is stronger than ever.  We loved our little town, despite the many challenges of living in a backwater corner of the vanishing American wilderness. And though Greenville appears to have died yesterday, it will somehow regrow along with the trees in our nearby mountains.


I cannot presently envision how a future Greenville will appear, how many people will live there, and what we will do to support ourselves.  These are questions for a later time.  But I am confident  we will learn this hard lesson Mother Nature has handed us, and rebuild in a way which is more harmonious with nature, and cognizant of the realities of climate disruption which created this disaster scenario.


Today, Greenville is a place where our glasses are more than half empty. But I am confident that the love I share with my many Greenville friends will soon have our glasses full and overflowing. Though we must share our pain, we will also share even more love. More than ever, it is clear to me that love is the greatest force in our world.  Love can heal, love can transcend, and true love can never be destroyed.

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