Post-fire thanks

Letters from grateful neighbors to generous neighbors

AS THE SMOKE SETTLES<br>Residents look over Feather River Canyon from Coutolenc Lookout in Magalia.

Residents look over Feather River Canyon from Coutolenc Lookout in Magalia.

Photo By Alan Sheckter

Resource guide: The Butte County Resource Conservation District has put out a brochure on restoring fire-stricken land.

Unsung heroes
Starting first with the Ophir Fire on Tuesday, June 10, then immediately after, continuing with the Humbolt Fire for many days and then with the Butte Lightning Complex, Butte County Search & Rescue has been incredibly busy providing not only search and rescue services but fire evacuation responses as well.

Over these three fires, volunteer Search & Rescue officers put in well over one thousand hours of service doing Fire evacuation notices and assisting in emergency operations. Many of these volunteers’ employers have allowed them to take time off of work to assist with the on-going emergencies.

In addition, many of these volunteers own homes and families were in the threatened areas under evacuation and yet they still responded with Search & Rescue to help others. One Search & Rescue Officer lost his home to the Humboldt Fire but continued to serve with distinction throughout the fire siege.

I would like to thank these tremendous volunteers for their on-going dedication and service to the county and citizens of Butte during these incredibly difficult times.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue Unit is an all volunteer, non-tax-supported and non-county-funded unit of the Sheriff’s Office and responds to a wide variety of emergency needs throughout the County and beyond as requested. Search & Rescue is also a non-profit incorporated body with a 501(c)3 non-profit status.

Capt. Mike Larish
Butte County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue Unit

Lung relief
As the air quality around Butte County improves, the American Lung Association of California would like to thank all the different organizations that cancelled outdoor events when air quality conditions reached “unhealthy” or “hazardous” levels during the recent fire emergency.

Although it was disappointing to miss out on baseball games, youth camps and the Thursday Night Market, those organizations made the responsible choice to cancel popular outdoor events when local air quality officials were urging residents to stay inside as much as possible.

Smoky air that is considered unhealthy for all or hazardous poses a health risk for everyone. Microscopic particles in the smoke can get into your eyes and respiratory system, causing burning eyes, a runny nose, and illnesses such as bronchitis. Fine particles also can aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases in older adults. Children also are more vulnerable to smoke because their respiratory systems are still developing and they breathe more air (and air pollution) per pound of body weight than adults.

With that in mind, we thank the Downtown Chico Business Association, the Chico Outlaws, local recreational groups and all other organizations that called off or postponed outdoor events to help limit exposure to the poor air quality conditions at a time when many felt it necessary to wear masks around town. These organizations deserve credit for looking out for the lung health of local residents.

Christina Roberts
American Lung Association of California

Friends of our friends
During the past month, groups of unsung volunteers responded to four fire incidents, evacuating and sheltering hundreds of animals, both large and small.

Not only had many of these volunteers spent hours in previous training, with the North Valley Animal Disaster Group, they were volunteering to work long days and nights, possibly outside, in very hot smoky conditions. Prepared to be flexible with changing conditions and duties, volunteers were often expected to be totally self sufficient, arriving at their assignments with enough food, water and bedding for at least forty eight hours, with no chance to go home and shower. Also, some probably were themselves evacuated, having to be concerned about the safety of their own animals.

NVADG appreciates all of the many donations of goods and services. However, what the group really needs are cash contributions for specific equipment and supplies to sustain their efforts in providing assistance during future emergencies. It’s also looking for individuals who want to be trained or be involved in speaking to groups about disaster preparedness or staff a booth at local events.

Check NVADG out at and send your donations to P.O. Box 441, Chico, CA 95927.

Also, during all of the recent fires, the Paradise Horsemen’s Association ( evacuated many horses to safety and took care of more than 75 horses at the Arena in Paradise during the Humboldt Fire. That group can also use your donations: P.O. Box 672, Paradise, CA 95967.

Marygrace Colby

Concow rebuilding
The Yankee Hill Fire Safe Council is an all volunteer community benefit organization and have held a 501(c)3 non profit status since 2002. All donations are tax deductible and will be replied to with a tax receipt. All donations will be used for the recovery/rebuilding effort in the Concow/Yankee Hill community. They can be sent to P.O. Box 4153, Yankee Hill, CA 95965.

For more information about the Fire Safe Council, you can visit the Web site at or call (530) 534-4179.

Thank you to everyone!

Sharon North
Yankee Hill Fire Safe Council

‘You’re the greatest!’
On behalf of Butte College, I’d like to thank our local firefighters, police officers, and other agencies who responded to the Humboldt Fire in Butte County. You not only saved Butte College from serious and devastating destruction, but you protected our communities we all live in. Without your great efforts many more people would not have homes to return to, and much of our campus would not be available for providing education to those in our community.

We’re very grateful for all of your help—you’re the greatest!

Diana Van Der Ploeg
President, Butte College

Different matter, same sentiment
Amid the drama of the big picture—unheard-of federal debt; when and how we’re going to get out of Iraq; how we’re going to pay for health care; who’s lost homes in the fires, or how to feed the children going hungry every night—my problems are miniscule by comparison.

I’ve been without well water for seven months and I finally got it back this past week. Always one to conserve, I didn’t need to be reminded how vulnerable we all are as rainfall diminishes and glaciers melt.

Even so, I wanted to publicly acknowledge the moral support of county Supervisor Maureen Kirk, Department of Water Resources Director Dan McManus and Butte County Director of Environmental Health Brad Banner, who all said they were “just doing their jobs” as they offered assistance during what seemed like insurmountable obstacles.

I also want to thank my neighbor, Sharon Mullan, who shared her well water these past months, and the support of other neighbors like Claudia and Noel Lyons. It’s been a reminder that it in fact does “take a village” to accomplish things great or small.

Jude Cassel Williams