Northern California's Dixie Fire, which has so far blackened 504 square miles of mostly timber, reduced the tiny Plumas County town of Greenville to ashes Wednesday night, Aug. 4.
The fire wiped out a gas station, hotel, bar and other historic buildings in a town that dates back to the Gold Rush era, according to The Associated Press.
"My town died yesterday," Greenville resident Ken Donnell writes today for Quincy-based Feather Publishing. "We fought hard to save Greenville, but Mother Nature came to reclaim what is hers. After many days of valiantly holding back the flames which slowly came to circle Greenville, the fire finally broke through, and with a tsunami of fire that could not be contained by the works of man. We naively believed we owned Greenville. But in reality, Mother Nature owned Greenville, and all of us."
Donnell says the spirti of the town lives on and believes it will return in some form.
"I cannot presently envision how a future Greenville will appear, how many people will live there, and what we will do to support ourselves," he writes. "These are questions for a later time. But I am confident we will learn this hard lesson Mother Nature has handed us, and rebuild in a way which is more harmonious with nature, and cognizant of the realities of climate disruption which created this disaster scenario."
The Dixie Fire started July 14 and has become the sixth largest wildfire in state history, destroying or damaging 50 structures and threatening 12,438 others, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Numerous evacuations are in effect.