Wildfires that are growing in scale and ferocity each year. 2021 has been a record year for wildfires in the western United States. The Dixie fire alone is the second largest wildfire in California state history and has destroyed 1329 structures. The Dixie fire destroyed nearly the entire town of Greenville, which joins an ever increasing list of towns destroyed by wildfire.
With many communities now looking into the ashes and wondering what is next, one filmmaker who lost his family’s home in the Camp Fire in Paradise offers a hopeful vision of what is possible after disaster.
“A Message from the Future of Paradise” is a 7 minute film that imagines the rebuilding of Paradise California towards a very bright future. Filmmaker and Paradise native Allen Myers is doing community work in Paradise and hopes this film offers vision for other communities facing disaster.
In 2018, the historic Camp Fire destroyed the town Paradise and killed 85 people. In its wake, the community gathered to talk about their values and enact them in the rebuilding. Community meetings identified “nature” and “community” as key values for Paradise.
Myers set out to compile this yet-to-be-manifested vision into a blueprint for the town. “I knew I had to return to my hometown after the fire. With much of the media coverage focusing on the devastation, I wanted to make a film that brought hope and inspired action,” says Myers.
What would a town look like 50 years in the future if it were rebuilt centered around community and nature? A Message from the Future of Paradise was created to illustrate that possible future and is now a guiding vision for the non-profit organization Regenerating Paradise which seeks to grow this vision into reality.
“The scale of devastation is a reflection of deeper systemic failures- from forest management, to corporate greed by PG&E, to man-made climate change-all are responsible for the Camp Fire. Rather than return to the unhealthy system, what could systemic health look like? What are the lessons and possibilities within the disaster?”
Regenerating Paradise is a community-based organization that seeks to “reweave the social fabric that regenerates us.” They regularly convene community members and organizations to promote collaboration and holistic community health. The film “A Message from the Future of Paradise,” can be seen below: