August wildland fires have set the state of Oregon ablaze, burning hundreds of thousands of acres of land within the state, and counting. If you live in Oregon, it’s no secret that the entire state is suffering; the air has been full of smoke and ash, and most of the state is suffering from moderately hazardous to extremely hazardous air conditions. Several schools across the state are without filtered air conditioning systems, forcing them to delay the start of the school year due to air quality concerns and high temperatures. Conditions are expected to improve in the coming days due to changes in weather and humidity levels.
A new fire started on Saturday near Portland, in the Columbia River Gorge. The Eagle Creek Fire is thought to have been sparked by a firework set off by a teenager, who may end up facing criminal charges, although the investigation is ongoing and the teen has not been charged at this point. Roughly 140 hikers were left stranded overnight, due to the fire; however, officials were able to evacuate them safely on Sunday morning. Hundreds of homes in the area have since been evacuated, with many others in neighboring areas on high alert; told to be ready to evacuate at any moment. The fire continued traveling east, and by the end of Sunday had spread to nearly 3,000 acres. By Tuesday it reached nearly 4,800 acres, and has now merged with the existing Indian Creek Fire nearby, totaling more than 30,000 acres between the two. Oregonians and outdoor enthusiasts were left heartbroken over the burning of this beautiful area of land which has long been a popular hiking destination. Several historic landmarks and trails have been damaged, however firefighters were able to preserve the Multnomah Falls Lodge built in 1925, and the overall damage was less than initially expected.
The Eagle Creek Fire has certainly captured a lot of attention; largely due to its close proximity to the Portland area as well it’s potential to harm historic landmarks. Several fires across the state have had equally devastating effects. The largest of the fires in the State of Oregon is the Chetco Bar fire located northeast of Brookings. The fire was started on July 12 by lightening, and it’s expected to take until at least mid-October before the fire is fully contained. According to an update on 9/6/16 from the Wild Coast Compass, Tuesday was a very active day adding 14,257 charred acres, bringing the overall total to 176,770 acres. Level 3 evacuations remain in effect for several residents in Curry County.
A website has been set up with the objective of providing updated information surrounding the fire, as well as resources for victims of the Chetco Bar Fire and information on how to help. Visit: www.chetcobarfire.com to view this information or find them on Facebook: @chetcofire. Their mission statement is as follows: “This informational website was created to help the victims of the Chetco Bar Fire, as well as give our local community members easy access to important links and news regarding the status of the firefighting efforts and community outreach options. My goal is to make the distribution of information and resources easily accessible to everyone affected by this fire.”
Nearly 1700 crew members are working hard to contain the Chetco Fire, and countless others are working to contain other fires in various parts of our beautiful state. At Baker’s and Drew’s we outfit many of these crew members with their wildland fire boots; these men and women are close to our hearts. We will continue to do our part in providing the most reliable products we can so these firefighters can help keep Oregon green. While supplies last, we will also be including free socks and/or Oregon Trail boot wax with all of our fire boot shipments during the month of September. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by the fires. We’ve been in the forestry business for over 60 years and we pride ourselves in products that keep our firefighters safe even in the harshest conditions.