Many readers have noted there’s a ‘new group’ in town called the Dixie Fire Collaborative. Just who is the DFC and where did they come from and what are their goals?
The Dixie Fire Collaborative is the new name for a group that had previously been generically called the Long Term Working Group, whose name was changed to be more specific to its cause. Immediately after the Dixie Fire some long term residents of affected areas along with professionals who have the skills to rebuild in Greenville, Canyon Dam, Indian Falls, and other affected communities began meeting on Mondays via Zoom to begin to strategize about how we move forward as communities with the majority of our structures and infrastructure eviscerated. Thus, the group began.
Why is it necessary for a volunteer group to be a vital part of any rebuild efforts? According to many involved—
It’s all about history. Plumas County in passed decades has had a history of relying on and hiring outside the county for recommendations and consultations of planning for various aspects of county life. The DFC aims to play a vital role in planning and management of the rebuild process.
Case in point, at the recent [Re] Build Greenville meeting, Supervisor Kevin Goss reported that the county will interview firms applying to provide disaster management for the rest of the clean up and rebuild. Tyler Pew and one other DFC member will now be serving on the interview team. Questions arise about the idea for the team in the first place. Will this team, presumably hired by the county do different or similar work that the DFC is already doing? Will it meet the needs of those of us who live in areas affected by the Dixie Fire? How do we assure any outside team coming in is tailoring their approach to fit the needs of Greenville, for example, and not just offering a one-size-fits-all recovery plan?
Notably, earlier in the fall, Co-chair Sue Weber made a presentation before the board of supervisors and two of the supervisors were forced to admit on record that they had not even toured the damage of the Dixie Fire to Indian Valley. Since supervisors are responsible not just to their district but the county residents as a whole, and are supposed to govern as such—many in Indian Valley felt having supervisors who hadn’t even visited the areas of destruction were a powerful reminder and a huge metaphor for how the county has operated in the past.
Many survivors of the fire now relocated to Quincy, for example, have stated that they feel as if life has returned to normal for Quincy and that it can be easy for people to forget what’s happened to their neighboring town.
It is in this spirit that the Dixie Fire Collaborative feels there is a vital need to fill.
While the group is most certainly about action, it is also about communication and having as many residents on board with changes and rebuilding. The co-chairs for the group are Clint Koble and Sue Weber.
The DFC is then broken down into “Community Leads” for each community. Greenville’s leads are Marsha Roby and Kaley Bentz, Indian Falls is Terry Schwartz, Crescent Mills is Lisa Forcino, Taylorsville/Genesee is Jason Stead, Canyon Dam is John Crotty, Chester/Lake Almanor is Shawn McKenzie, Quincy is Tracy Turner, and Maidu Community is Trina Cunningham. Readers interested in developments related to the fire in those communities should contact those leads. All the leads are active and fairly visible citizens of their communities.
Next in the structure of the DFC are team leads. Paula Johnston of Plumas Rural Services is the lead for case management and spiritual/emotional care. Jane Braxton Little is the lead for communications. Susan Bryner is the lead for fundraising. Lara Wheeler who is managing the Rebuild Greenville Resource Center is the lead for unmet needs. Moorea Stout is the lead for housing. Tanya Komas is the leader for ‘downtown’ Greenville. Tyler Pew is the chair for the [Re] Build Greenville effort. Construction and architectural consultants are Chris Meyers and Lindsey Buis-Kelley respectively.
According to a recent DFC release, anyone interested in helping can help and can contact any of the leads to help, or for questions and comments. For further information, contact the Dixie Fire Collaborative at [email protected].
If the last meeting (on December 16) was any indication, the need for residents to be active parts of the recovery are strong. Fifty attended in person with an additional 33 on Zoom.