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Fresno 4-H Ambassadors help community recover from Creek Fire

From left, Nicole Ward, Ciara Zito, Clayton Pennebaker and Caydin Simonian. The Fresno County 4-H Ambassadors met in the Sierra Nevada in early 2020, before COVID-19 restrictions and before the Creek Fire struck.

Hundreds of wildfires burned in California in 2020. The biggest single wildfire, according to Cal Fire, was the Creek Fire, which started on Sept. 4 near Shaver Lake in Fresno County. It destroyed 856 structures and burned 379,895 acres mostly in the Sierra National Forest until it was declared contained on Dec. 24.

“Fresno County 4-H had several families that lost homes in the Creek Fire, especially from our Ridge Top 4-H Club,” said 4-H program representative Tracy Newton. 

To help their fellow 4-H members and community recover from the Creek Fire, 4-H Ambassadors in Fresno County assembled baskets containing handmade dough ornaments and a seedling to give to fire survivors. They also partnered with Intermountain Nursery and Sierra Resiliency Fund to begin protecting the scorched land from erosion.

In a video about their efforts, 4-H Ambassadors Caydin Simonian, Ciara Zito, Nicole Ward and Clayton Pennebaker and local partners describe their roles.

“Without volunteers, we can't get very much done. It's nice to have a core group of individuals that are excited and motivated to do work,” Allyson Brooks, Sierra Resiliency Fund volunteer coordinator, said in the video. 

After the Creek Fire, the 4-H Ambassadors partnered with Intermountain Nursery and Sierra Resiliency Fund to prevent soil erosion.

Zito added, “I know together we can make a difference.” 

Newton is proud of the Ambassador team's efforts supporting the Creek Fire recovery. "They've worked so hard, I'd like to see our community aware of their great efforts as well as our UC ANR community," she said. “I think they've done an amazing job! “ 

“Through sales of 4-H logo items and donations received, the team was able to purchase 750 seedlings which will be planted locally,” Newton said. “They are working towards participating in multiple workdays for tree plantings. In addition, there were workdays at the nursery transferring seedlings to larger containers and watering. They also supported in creating a community display that will be placed in the Creek Fire exhibit at the Sierra Historical Society.” 

See the video at https://youtu.be/fCvHuFu8e1k.

Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 11:24 AM

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