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Rebuild | Reburn

A damaged sign reading "Main St" stands in central Greenville
This street sign in central Greenville, Calif., was damaged by the Dixie fire in 2021.
(Noah Berger / Associated Press)

California needs a plan for how and where we will live in the future.

1
Text that says REBUILD REBURN

The community of Greenville in Plumas County burned to the ground in the Dixie fire in 2021. Residents are determined to rebuild, no matter the cost. But in an era of climate change and worsening wildfires and drought, should we be rebuilding tiny, vulnerable Northern California towns?

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‘Resources are going to be drained’

In a future ravaged by climate change, wildfires will strain resources. Bringing back every town will only put people in mortal danger once again.

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3

Hotter and drier

Climate change is a true threat to life in Northern California. But residents merely see it — and the fires it brings — as a challenge to overcome.

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Dislike and distrust

California won’t rebuild every rural town incinerated by a fire. As resources shrink and priorities change, the risk of far-right violence will grow.

5

California needs a new plan

With climate change, California must confront hard truths on how and where we will live in the future, and what that means for decisions made today.

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