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Out with the fire in with the fair

Quincy grateful to firefighters who saved town with scarce resources

It was a roller coaster for Quincy residents last week as the Minerva Fire threatened, and it’s an apt description for this week with the fair in town.

The Minerva Fire broke out early Saturday, July 29, and for the next week at varying times downtown Quincy and East Quincy residents were threatened with evacuation. Then this past Sunday morning came good news. The burnouts were complete, the lines were holding and the mop up was beginning.

That was Sunday morning, but Sunday afternoon there were reports of fire starts from Chilcoot, which prompted evacuations, to Paxton in the Feather River Canyon, with several starts in between. Thankfully those fires were quickly contained.

Of course, as has oft been quoted this past week “We’re not out of the woods — literally and figuratively” — there’s still a chance that a hotspot could explode in the Minerva or adverse weather conditions could spot the fire into new areas, but it does appear that the worst is over for that fire.

We know there are “thank you” posters all over town and people are doing whatever they can to thank the firefighters, but it does deserve repeating here: Thank you.

With scarce resources, the crews on the ground and the pilots in the air did an incredible job of protecting Quincy. Ideally, there would have been more fixed-wing aircraft to drop retardant and more crews to corral the fire, but the Minerva Fire was just one of many, many fires burning in the West. As of Monday morning, the Minerva Fire was at 4,307 acres while the fire in Modoc County topped 80,000 and had threatened two towns.

We were fortunate that there was an initial all-out response, and then the remaining crews fought hard to keep the fire in check. As the smoke clears, work continues as they mop up the hot spots and begin restoration. The crews remain in danger, possibly even more so, because of the snags that threaten to fall on them. There was already one such occurrence and we are happy to report that the firefighter from Mammoth Lakes who was injured is continuing to improve.

The fair goes on

So, the Plumas-Sierra County Fair begins today. The event has definitely been overshadowed by the fire — literally with the smoke that hovers above the fairgrounds and figuratively with the attention the fire has received. But a lot of effort goes into holding a county fair and we hope that all county residents will attend. There’s a host of activities and entertainment sure to satisfy all tastes. A schedule of events is printed on the back page of this newspaper’s regional section —tear it out to refer to over the fair’s five-day run. Be sure to visit the youth livestock area, where our area’s young people showcase their animals, as well as the popular livestock auction on Sunday. Attend the annual fair parade that begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday and travels down Main Street. There’s a free or pay-what-you-want country concert in the grandstands Friday night. Let’s fill those seats!

It’s been a roller coaster couple of weeks. Let’s enjoy the rest of the ride at the county fair.

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