The attendees at the March 9 Camp Fire Connect meeting hold up their arms to display the unity bracelets (inset) that symbolize their collective trials and successes. The meetings offer a chance for conversations of mutual support and sharing ideas. Photo submitted

New residents meet for mutual support

Most people in the Chester/Lake Almanor area already know we have had quite a number of folks displaced by the Camp Fire that have chosen to relocate here in the basin.

It can be hard to move into any new community, but when it’s sudden and caused by a traumatic, life-changing event, the manifestations are usually multiplied.

In situations like this it is not uncommon to experience difficulty just managing your emotions and reasoning process that effect everyday activities.

‘Camp Fire Connect’ is a Lake Almanor resource and support group, supported by the Lake Almanor Area Chamber as a way to address many of the questions and barriers to a comfortable transition to the new community and help process the grief in individuals and relationships.


When polled, it seems that everyone attending the Camp Fire Connect meetings is familiar with and has enjoyed eating at longtime Chico restaurant La Comida.

Through the combined efforts of LAACC and La Comida Restaurant, the April 6 gathering offered a taste of back home as La Comida transported a complete Mexican dinner up to Chester for the 50 or so attendees.

This was the third of six planned get-togethers for the group with the next scheduled April 28 at 4 p.m. in the Chester Fire Station conference room.

Each of these gatherings is designed to offer information about the community, local and regional resources, and give the participants an opportunity to share both trials and triumphs.

Several people at the meeting said that simply talking about their situation with others reminds them they are not alone and they do have support in the community.

At the very first meeting in March they were all connected to one another with a black cord. As the cord between individuals was cut, a small clasp was placed on the ends creating a bracelet-like reminder that even when the group is separated, they still have a personal commonality and bond.


If you would like more information about Camp Fire Connect contact the LAACC online or call 258-2426.

It is very quiet in the Chester Fire Station conference room as Camp Fire Connect folks enjoy a special meal brought up by La Comida Restaurants in Chico on April 6. Besides the communal conversations and camaraderie enjoyed by the group, there were also presentations and information on local and regional resources. Photo by Gregg Scott