PRATHER, California (KGPE) – The Creek fire burned through mountain communities last September and not 100% contained until Christmas Eve. In Prather on Friday, an Arbor Day effort came together to help the forest heal.
“PG&E is collaborating with Tree Fresno and Rebuild Our Sierra to give away 400 powerline compatible species of trees back to the Creek Fire residents,” said Joseph Stewart with Pacific Gas & Electric.
“It’s a little bare after the fire and keeping everything mowed down makes it dry out so this will help green things up a little bit,” said Jeff Scott, a Tollhouse resident.
Tree Fresno’s Mona N. Cummings says the kinds of trees handed out were chosen specifically to help reduce forest fire danger.
“It’s important to plant the right tree in the right place because what you don’t want to do is plant a very large tree, like a native Sequoia right under a powerline.”
The event also brought together around 30 other community organizations providing support to those impacted by the Creek Fire.
“Many want trees, some just want to see the people and learn about the resources, so it’s sort of an all-encompassing event,” said Ari Arroyo, the Chair of the Creek Fire Recovery Collaborative.
Arroyo says there’s a deep bond between those impacted by the creek fire in the Shaver Lake area.
“They’re not just neighbors, we are family. We really are family and that’s so important that’s what ‘Mountain Strong’ is about. It’s not just people living side by side, it’s people who take care of each other whenever possible. It’s an extraordinary mountain community, the Shaver Lake communities up here.”