Community Outcry as Rainbow Family Gathering Sparks Wildfire Fears and Cultural Tensions


Tension grows in the community as videos and images of the Rainbow Family Gathering emerge from behind Diamond Mountain. Locals and District 5 Supervisor who ventured into the camps exposed images showing water being diverted from Indian Creek, dispersed campfires, and vehicles parked off designated roads.

The main concern is that these activities could spark a significant wildfire, especially as the area faces burn bans due to drying grasses, high heat, and strong winds. Many in the Janesville area are still recovering from the effects of the Dixie Fire, which devastated homes along Hicks Road as the fire raged down the escarpment along 395.

Federal Forest Service law enforcement officers have been seen among the group, currently numbering about 100 people, but concerns grow about whether they will be outnumbered as the region braces for an expected five to seven thousand “Rainbows,” as the group calls themselves.

The Maidu Summit Consortium, representing the homelands where the gathering is taking place, wrote an opposition letter to the Supervisors of the Lassen and Plumas National Forests, stating they had not been consulted, nor have they consented to or blessed the event. The Maidu are urging the Forest Service to uphold its commitment to protecting and preserving the natural and cultural resources of the national forest. The letter states that the Maidu “will not stand idly by while our lands are desecrated, and our people are further traumatized,” and they are prepared to take legal action if their demands are not met.

The community has many unanswered questions, including how activities like water diversion and unpermitted campfires are being allowed. These issues will hopefully be addressed as the Rainbow Family Gathering event unfolds, with peak attendance expected between July 1st and the 4th of July holiday weekend.

Supervisor of District 5 Jason Ingram is organizing a peaceful “show of force” by calling on the community to meet at the Chevron Gas Station at the bottom of the Antelope Grade at 4:30 PM this Friday, June 21st, before caravanning up the grade to the Rainbow Gathering site to “respectively resist” the Rainbow Family Gathering amid the group’s controversial arrival just this week.


Image of lines being laid out where the Rainbow Family Gathering is taking place, diverting water from Indian Creek.