Chester’s Cemetery Rebuilding After Dixie Fire: Progress Despite Challenges

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After nearly three years Chester’s Cemetery continues to make progress on rebuilding after the Dixie Fire.

The single largest wildfire in the state’s history, raged just outside of Chester in mid august, a month after its start. Although was kept from surging through town, it severely damaged the Chester Cemetery, leaving it in near ruin with charred trees, destroyed equipment, and rubble.

However, The Almanor Foundation shared that progress is underway for its restoration, led by Cemetery District Manager Wes Scott, the cemetery board, and contractor Dan Smith. Despite delays due to weather, a new office has almost been completed, and equipment has been replaced. The removal of trees, costing $85,000, was partially covered by FEMA. Collins Pines planted Sequoia seedlings, and local nurseries provided over 50 shrubs to restore the grounds.

The cemetery has been functioning since May 2022, less than a year after the fire. The Almanor Foundation is managing funding, with the community raising $21,000. The foundation’s chair, Judy Chynoweth, emphasizes their commitment to supporting the cemetery district’s restoration efforts.

The goal is to bring back the Chester Cemetery’s natural beauty, allowing families and friends to be laid to rest in the Lake Almanor basin. Those interested in supporting the rebuild can visit https://almanorfoundation.org/our-funds/.