I’m still trying to find the words to express my feelings after taking a drive last Tuesday up to the west shore of Lake Almanor in Plumas County. Maybe I should have been more prepared for what I saw — the effects of the Dixie Fire, which burned nearly 1 million acres over five California counties from July through October last year. I think that while this wildfire was raging I was distracted by the somewhat closer Caldor Fire (it burned along Highway 50 and the Mormon Emigrant Trail around the same time). I’ve been avoiding traveling up the MET precisely because I can’t bear to see the devastation of those familiar pine forests, but this hurt just as much.

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