Remembrance and the Path Forward

Today marks four years since our lives and landscape changed in a megafire that swept across four counties for 23 days, destroying nearly 9,000 structures, and claiming 43 lives.

Remembrance from Judy Coffey, After the Fire Board President

Our October 2017 megafire marked the official beginning of an era of megafires that have since occupied the American West and burned tens of millions of acres.

On October 11, 2017 an organization called Rebuild NorthBay Foundation (RNBF) was created to help our region navigate a massive long term recovery process. What we didn't know at the time was these fires would happen again and again and the need for help would only grow larger. Climate change collided with historical forest mismanagement and created a perfect storm that is now our reality.

I lost my home in the Tubbs Fire and have rebuilt. I have walked this path. As leader and survivor, I know our work has made a difference and we have much more to do. Please take time today to support our work and help save the American West from disastrous megafires.

Insights from Jennifer Gray Thompson, CEO, After the Fire

In 2021, RNBF became After The Fire: Recover. Rebuild. Reimagine. 

For four years our work has centered on helping local, regional and national recovery and rebuilding. We've dedicated over 20,000 hours and $3.5M into recovery, response, resilience and advocacy.

Our work has led us to be a leader in wildfire and disaster. We intend to change the direction of this disastrous path by building wildfire and community resilience in response to climate change as we advocate for federal policies that ensure before and after disasters. This work is critical and the problem is nothing short of an emergency for our land, or children, and our future.

Please consider supporting our work. The only way we get through this time is together. We are committed to dealing with these megafires and you can be part of our mission.

We are marking this somber day with a promise to elevate the emergency.

Reflections on Community Resilience
Pamela Van Halsema, Director of Community and Digital Programs, After the Fire

Waking in the middle of the night four years ago, rushing to evacuate our home in Coffey Park, we could never have imagined the wild journey we were entering as a family, as a neighborhood, and as a community. Thus began a chapter of loss and hardship, of trauma and grief. But even as the days, months and years of recovery unfolded, we still had hope.

We forged incredible bonds with our new 'fire family' and received unmeasurable support and generosity from our beautiful community. Surely we are more resilient today because we faced these challenges together, and now we understand the value of paying it forward and helping others who have faced disaster since 2017.

Although the path to rebuild and recovery is difficult, I know we can help others do this work because we are rooted in community, grounded in love and integrity, serving one another with empathy and grace, and motivated by gratitude and hope. And that is true strength and resilience.