Tubbs Fire survivor discusses his book ‘A Fire Story’ at Town Hall Theatre

Brian Fies is the award-winning author of “A Fire Story,” a graphic memoir of the Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County and Santa Rosa in 2017. He will be at the Town Hall Theatre in Quincy tomorrow, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m., to talk about his book and experiences. Photo submitted

Feather River College is celebrating its 2019-20 Book in Common, “A Fire Story,” by Brian Fies, with several community events. The first is scheduled Thursday, Sept. 19,at 7 p.m., in partnership with Plumas Arts at the Town Hall Theatre in Quincy. The event is free to the public and sponsored by FRC’s English Department and the First Year Experience program.

Brian Fies is the award-winning author of “A Fire Story,” a graphic memoir of the Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County and Santa Rosa in 2017.A graphic book uses comic type drawing and words to tell its story.

Fies is a cartoonist, journalist and science writer. He has published three graphic books before “A Fire Story,” which came out in 2019. In October 2017, Fies lost everything in the Tubbs Fire, except what he could quickly grab from his home. He said the only way he could cope with his loss was to write a short comic book style story about the fire.

He self-published the original story online, but soon it went viral and he eventually followed up with a book length version of the fire and living with its aftermath. The original webcomic and the book have received national attention from many news organizations, including CNN, NPR, The PBS News Hour, and the Washington Post, as well as regional outlets such as KQED-TV in San Francisco and the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Fies will talk about his experience with the Tubbs Fire, with the way he develops and writes stories, and will show slides of his work.In addition to the community talk, Fies will visit FRC classes that are reading his book as part of the curriculum this year, will lead a writer’s workshop for students in the creative writing class, and will visit the Drawing I and II classes to talk about cartooning and his approach to art. 

In addition to Brian Fies’ Sept. 19 talk, FRC will present a screening of the film “The Human Element” at the Town Hall Theater on Oct. 17

In November, there will be an on-campus presentation about forest management and fire suppression. All events will be free.

Brian Fies’ graphic novel, “A Fire Story,” is available for sale at Barn Owl Books on Main Street in Quincy.