By Meg Upton
On the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 15, the very beginning of rebuilding possibilities in Greenville will commence with a community town hall meeting titled “Dixie Fire Recovery Update.” It will take place at Greenville Junior Senior High School from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with representatives from Plumas County staff, FEMA, and CalOES in attendance as well as other state partners to answer questions from residents of Greenville and other communities that lost structures to the Dixie Fire.
Recovery, disaster assistance, and information on rebuilding will be provided at this time. A Zoom or livestream component of the meeting will also be available.
Supervisor Kevin Goss will be posting updates to his Facebook page regularly for constituents to find more information about this and other upcoming meetings regarding recovery.
Another development regarding recovery is the creation of an advisory committee, which will be made up of nine to 15 Greenville residents who will report to the board on various aspects of recovery. Some will focus on immediate issues of making the area livable, bringing back business, while others will focus on residential structures. Goss hopes the committee will be made up of residents who will follow through to complete the task.
Because of social media, there’s much information and misinformation regarding the town and its recovery infrastructure.
Residents with structures and RVs have already repopulated the Greenville area, but those on city water can currently only use the water for washing. The water is currently not potable—nor can it be boiled for safety. Residents using the water should take cold showers only. Sixteen tests have been done to the current water system with one of the 16 coming back with a .007 positive testing for benzene. Benzene is a liquid hydrocarbon found in petroleum products and coal tar and is highly carcinogenic.
Residents might be eager to sift through the ashes or residences, and businesses but are advised to only do so if there is a sign with a green check mark on the property. If there is still a big red sign it is still considered a hazardous danger zone. Some areas will be considered dangerous because they could collapse at any moment while some might contain asbestos and other cancer-causing agents. Residents should also not sift unless they have been assured by state or federal agencies or their insurance companies that they are cleared to do so.
Supervisor Goss advises residents to double-check all sources of information. He cited one example of religious clean-up teams coming in to sift while property lots were still declared not safe with the red mark that they might contain hazardous materials. According to Goss, Sheriff Johns had to remind them it was not their jurisdiction to determine what was safe.
Goss made it clear that he understands people’s frustrations—he too lost property and business in the fire.
“As the initial incident is settling down, I will be posting more information for fundraisers and meetings for the people in my district,” said Goss.
To that end, there’s a Greenville Recovery Fundraiser and Golf Tournament on Sept. 25 at the Mt. Huff Golf Course with proceeds going to help Greenville fire survivors. The Mt. Huff Golf Club will be hosting an all-day tournament with proceeds going to the Craggs family who lost their home as well.
The cost for the tournament is $40 a person with $10 for a golf cart. For more information about the tournaments interested parties should call (530) 284-6300.