As the Dixie Fire continues to grow larger and force evacuations throughout Plumas, Butte and Lassen counties, some locals near Lassen Volcanic National Park are pleading with people to visit some other time.
The communities of Chester, Westwood and Lake Almanor are dealing with sweeping blackouts, limited resources and mandatory evacuations, making the area dangerous to visit right now. While Lassen Volcanic National Park remains open, it’s important to limit your visit to regions away from the fire.
A local named Elizabeth Chans posted a poignant message in the I Love Lassen Volcanic National Park Facebook group to plead with the public to avoid visiting areas that are currently impacted by the fire:
I am local and really begging people to not come to the side with Chester, Westwood, Lake Almanor, etc. we have very limited resources right now and things are dangerous.
Aside from the fire, we are on day four of a power outage in Lassen County, with intermittent and unpredictable times where power is on for five minutes, or two hours if we are lucky. There’s concern about the sewage system not being able to continue normal operations due to extended power outage. There are concerns about resource availability and clear pathways for evacuations and responders who are fighting the 100,000+ acre fire burning in our backyard.
People are losing their homes. People have been without power for four days, with no clear end in sight. We are getting rapid-fire mandatory evacuations, back to back. People are panicked about having to leave their homes behind on a whim. People have lost food from the sudden and intense power outage. There is a lot of poverty here in this very remote place, and people who have limited resources already are suffering with even less. Local stores have had food losses due to the sudden, extended power outages.
You do not need to be here right now. We love to have you here. We love the park; we love that YOU love the park. Please put your excursion on hold and come when it is safe and clear. Fires or not, we will still be here. We are resilient. Please do not make this crushing time any more difficult than it already is.
Please take note when planning your trip to Lassen. And stay safe, NorCal.