“Up In Flames”

Before we moved to Connecticut on the far east coast of the United States, I lived for fifty years in Oregon on the far west coast of the United States. I grew up near the Pacific Ocean and now live near the Atlantic Ocean. Oregon’s main industries when I was a child were logging and fishing. Oregon throughout the Cascade Mountains, one third of the way east from the ocean, was heavily forested and provided many opportunities for logging and operating lumber mills. Eventually logging mostly died out and the forests remained, most designated as National Forests, places for camping, hiking and fishing for a majority of western Oregonians. (The eastern two thirds of Oregon are dry, sparsely forested, ideal ranching land.) The Willamette River valley, that land west of the mountains and thus west of the forests, houses most Oregonians, in towns small and large, rural, suburban and urban.

I am providing this background, needed for readers outside the United States, as a prelude to my post tomorrow on the effects of the massive fires now raging over 1500 square miles of Oregon. Often when people think of forest fires and their impact they imagine people building in the woods, heedless of the danger. While that is true in some places, it definitely is not the case in Oregon at the moment.

Right now towns and suburbs involving nearly 500,000 people have been evacuated as the fires burn uncontained.

15 thoughts on ““Up In Flames”

  1. The wildfires on the west coast have been devastating and Washington and Oregon are in the same situation, though the human toll has been greater in Oregon. My sister lives east of Portland and has been on alert for a few days. Fortunately the winds changed and it looks like she will be spared evacuation. Here in the Seattle area we, along with Portland, have the worst air quality in the world as the smoke has arrived and settled. We’re looking for rain to clear things away in the next few days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so scary. Our daughter lives in Bend and the smoke is pretty thick. The one area where 200 people were trapped and the National Guard rescued them by helicopter puts the reality of fires into focus. What a terrible year.


  3. We have fires to the north, south, and east of us. All of the surrounding highways have closed around us at some point in the last ten days. We’re lucky to live in a mild spot right near the ocean. There have already been more acres burned this year in California than in any year in history, and it’s still early in the fire season. October and November are usually pretty awful months lately.


  4. You were in my mind as I watched a news report on the fires yesterday, knowing your connection with the state. Impossible to imagine how it must feel to be in the path of these great fires. I shall watch out for your post tomorrow, Elizabeth.


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