Dixie is burning Plumas County and bringing out the best in us


This dang Dixie. I feel utterly helpless. I’m trying to not let my grief over my community’s epic loss turn to rage. I may be a transplant from Texas, but I love the Sierra Nevada and the beauty of Plumas County. It’s my home now.

The last few mornings, I’ve wakened to blue skies and felt surges of hope. Then the wind comes, and my feels turn to fear. Another neighboring community is in Dixie’s crosshairs. It’s truly a monster.

Quincy is spared … so far. I feel guilty enjoying the beauty of its nearby wilderness when so many fellow residents have lost theirs. I weigh whether to post the beautiful images I capture here against the possibility of hurting those who’ve lost everything.

The images encourage me. Maybe they do the same for others. So I post. Photography and writing are my therapy. So is hiking and gravel biking in these lovely forests that surrounded us a mere few weeks ago.

Some days it feels like the other day; at other times, it seems months ago that we were gearing up for post-COVID camping trips, lake outings, and Sierra fun. It was the “new roaring twenties” here in paradise. Then yet another fire crashed the party.

Yet, it’s not all bad. Amid the fears and tears, horror and sorrow, many are showing amazing love and kindness toward their neighbors. I’ve realized that Plumas County is home to some tough and loving people. Who says the Old West grit is gone?

Plumas people are fiercely protective of their forests and the folks around them. It’s been a joy to behold the ways in which so many are helping others. When people are tried by fire, fear, loss and grief, the result is usually love.

Plumas Strong. It isn’t just a cute sentiment—it’s for real, man. Let’s roll.