December 21 Digest: This Week in Wildfire Recovery News

This is a digest of selected news and media that emerged over the last week related to wildfire emergencies, recovery efforts, and resilience building efforts in the American West. 

Jane Braxton Little: A Tour Guide to Hell on Earth, Small Town-Style

From Vox Populi, by Jane Braxton LIttle | December 20, 2021

A heartfelt essay from a long time resident of Greenville, CA on the personal, community and environmental impact of the Dixie Fire.

Caldor Survivors Are Being Gifted Homemade Quilts From People Across the Nation

From KCRA, by Erin Heft | December 19, 2021

Hundreds of hand-sewn quilts are being sent to one Placerville quilt shop and then being gifted to each Caldor Fire survivor.

This Is Life After the Dixie Fire

From The Nation, by Jane Braxton Little | December 16, 2021

An account of the changes in Greenville after the devastation of the Dixie Fire from one of its long time resident authors.

Four California Universities Missed Out On As Much As $47 Million In Coronavirus Aid. Here's Why

From Daily News, by Julian Mendoza, Stephanie Zappelli and Sindhu Ananthavel, CalMatters | December 17, 2021

Four California public universities could have received $47 million more in coronavirus aid if they sought funds from a different federal agency, resulting in students possibly missing out on support services and equipment. They sought funding from the Dept of Education whilst they might have received benefits via FEMA as well.

USDA Offers Wildfire Recovery Assistance

From KRSL, by Press Release Posted by David Elliott | December 16, 2021

USDA's Farm Service Agency offers disaster assistance to livestock farmers following wildfire and other natural disasters, including benefits after the loss of livestock from fire or lack of feed, fence replacement and more.

FEMA Spends Nearly $50 Million On Wildfire Recovery In Santiam Canyon

From 1190 KEX News Radio | December 20, 2021

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon will receive nearly $50 million in funds from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for debris removal and power line repair in the Santiam Canyon for recovery from the devastating 2020 Labor Day fires.

They Survived the Wildfires. Then Came the PTSD

From Mother Jones, by Kate Wheeling | 

Though many are lucky enough to walk away from the wildfires with their lives, the lasting damage of PTSD paves an entirely new road of struggle to recover.

Ben Lomond Residents Get First Look at Vets Village

From Press Banner, by Drew Penner | December 17, 2021

Chris Cottingham, Santa Cruz County Veterans Memorial Building Executive Director, said they’d purchased the rustic property in November, with their vision to set up permanent supportive housing on a small scale in the hopes of replicating it throughout the county

‘There's Simply Too Much.’ See How Chester Sawmill is Struggling in Dixie Fire’s Aftermath

From The Sacramento Bee, by Paul Kitagaki Jr. | December 19, 2021

Collins Pine Co. was left with 30,000 acres of dead trees after the Dixie Fire ripped through the company’s private Plumas County forest. Collins officials tour its sawmill, which won't be able to process the timber before it rots, on Dec. 3, 2021

Donor Will Match Up to $100,000 for Indian Valley Strong/Sierra Institute

From Plumas News, by Meg Upton | December 17, 2021

An anonymous donor has agreed to match any donations up to $100,000 until January 14, 2022 for Sierra Institute’s Indian Valley Strong campaign

USDA, DOI, and FEMA Jointly Establish New Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission

From U.S. Department of Agriculture | 

Press release describing a new commission that recommends federal policies and strategies to more effectively prevent, mitigate, suppress and manage wildland fires

Mendocino National Forest Hosting Wildfire Restoration Symposium on Jan. 26

From The Mendocino Voice, by Mendo Voice Staff | December 20, 2021

Speakers from the Forest Service’s Region 5 Ecology Program and Pacific Southwest Research Station will introduce the recently published Postfire Restoration Framework for National Forests in California, which highlights guiding principles for ecosystem-based decision-making

Forests With Rich Tree Species Grow More Consistantly

From EurekAlert | December 17, 2021

Recent global studies conducted by scientists in Germany and China show that species-rich biodiverse forests are less effected and more adaptable to impacts of climate change and extreme weather conditions.

Rare Southern California Butterfly Protected as Threatened Under Endangered Species Act

From Center for Biological Diversity | December 20, 2021

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today protected one of Southern California’s rarest butterflies, the Hermes copper butterfly, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act after being pushed to extinction by Southern California’s rampant development, wildfires driven by climate change and invasive plants

After Four Months and Thousands of Slain Sequoia, KNP Complex Fire Reaches Full Containment

From Visalia Times Delta, by Joshua Yeager | December 19, 2021

Fire managers announce KNP Complex Fire has reached full containment with help from series of heavy winter storms

KNP Complex Fire Fully Contained Months After Wildfire Sparked

From ABC 30 | December 20, 2021

The U.S. Forest Service fire management has declared the KNP Complex Fire in Tulare County fully contained

Southern California Edison Agrees to $550 Million in Fines for Role in 5 Wildfires

From Los Angeles Times, by Hayley Smith | December 17, 2021

Officials announce that Southern California Edison faces more than half a billion dollars in fines and penalties for its role in five devastating wildfires in 2017 and 2018

Folsom Man, Father Plead Not Guilty to Caldor Fire Arson, Weapons Charges

From Gold Country Media, by Bill Sullivan | December 16, 2021

Defense attorneys entered “not guilty” pleas to the charges after two men accused of starting the Caldor Fire appeared in court via live stream

Carbon Beneficial Forest Management Using Innovative Wood

From Tech Explorist, by Amit Malewar | December 18, 2021

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, a new analysis provides a roadmap for reducing wildfire risk through forest thinning while limiting its carbon emissions, involving encouraging the use “innovative wood products,” and creating a market for small-diameter trees and other woody biomass, such as oriented strand boards.

Supervisors to Discuss Possible Split of Public Works and Water Resources, Spending Plan for Federal Recovery Funds

From Lake County News, by Elizabeth Larson | December 20, 2021

The Board of Supervisors in Lake County has a full agenda in which it will discuss separating the Public Works and Water Resources department, considering a plan for spending federal recovery funds and a resolution regarding environmental review for cannabis projects, and getting an update on COVID-19

North Bay Wildfire Survivors Hope Federal Funding Will Help Prevent Future Disasters

From ABC 7 News, by Cornell Barnard | December 19, 2021

The Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden last month guarantees investments that will establish new tools to keep communities safer