Submitted by Katherine Sansome
An anniversary is generally looked upon as a celebration as much as a remembrance. July 13 is the second anniversary of the day the Dixie Fire broke out, going on to burn nearly a million acres.
The Almanor Foundation (TAF) observes July 13 as a reminder of the day it all began and acknowledges that the impact is seen and felt everyday for those who live in this community. But we do celebrate. Our small, rural “can-do “community has accomplished much in two years and for that, we do acknowledge and applaud our community for the comeback we are making.
TAF’s Dixie Wildfire Relief Fund
On July 18, five days after the fire start on Highway 70, the first monies were received by the Wildfire Relief Fund for the relief, restoration and revitalization of Plumas County. The fund was successfully put into place and orchestrated by a volunteer board that was scattered due to their own mandatory evacuation.
“The Almanor Foundation was literally thrown into the fire when Dixie hit Plumas County. A fledging foundation, we re-acted, stepped up and rallied the community to get involved,” says Susan Bryner executive director. “Though we led the charge, it was the spirit of those who make up this community that continues to support and contribute to the efforts and funding of the Wildfire Relief Fund.”
With guidance, direction and in partnership with the North Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) a Funders Roundtable was put into place to avoid duplication of effort and to ensure that funds were leveraged for the most benefit. This roundtable concept has since been nationally acclaimed and used as a successful model for overseeing funding for natural disasters. Over $250,000 was granted for immediate relief efforts. Grants being issued now address long-term recovery.
Recovery Grants issued through the Funders Roundtable
Greenville Planning and Visioning Phase 0 and 1A
Greenville Pop-Up Business District
Greenville Rancheria Fire Crew vehicles and equipment
Maidu Summit Consortium recovery services
Plumas Rural Services simple unmet needs fund
Plumas County Social Safety Net Needs Assessment
Copper Creek Camp Renovations for Volunteer and Workforce Housing
Hope Crisis Response Network Rebuilding Project
Nature Made Outdoor Youth Program, Indian Valley
Workforce Housing a Recovery Focus
Affordable workforce housing was an issue and a major concern prior to the fire. Without affordable housing it is hard to encourage new businesses and keep employees for already established companies. The devastation of Greenville and Canyon Dam turned the problem into a major crisis. TAF is currently focusing funds on the development and implementation of strategic plans to alleviate the workforce shortage across the burn scar.
TAF Charitable Impact Funds Serve Recovery Needs
The Chester Cemetery District opened a Charitable Impact Fund, a division of TAF that helps in raising money for organizations/individuals who have a desire to impact the community. The need was to raise $40,000 to remove debris to make land ready for replanting. Within two months of the Cemetery launching their fund-raising campaign, half the money was raised. On-going efforts by the Cemetery District remain with board members confident that funds will be there to bring the cemetery back to its original beauty. https://almanorfoundation.networkforgood.com/projects/172272-chester-cemetery-fund
TAF is proud of what has been accomplished in such a short time. The foundation looks forward to the continuing partnerships of organizations and individuals working in partnership to further build and recover. “The fire was devastating but our community did not buckle under; and though the memory of Dixie has not faded, with ongoing fundraising, collaboration and dedication, the recovery and rebuilding efforts will ensure a brighter future for Plumas County,” Susan adds with enthusiasm and confidence in her ”can-do” community. www.almanorfoundation.org.