Home Opinion Editorials REGION'S WILDFIRE SEASON IS COMING
REGION'S WILDFIRE SEASON IS COMING
Oregon is burning. Nearly 500,000 acres of of forest and other wildlands have burned in the past few weeks. Fires have destroyed forests, homes and have threatened towns in several parts of the state. Only the far northeast and northwest corners have been spared so far. Chances are, our time is coming as we enter what normally is the wildfire season in Northeast Oregon August and September.
AS A COMMUNITY, as residents of one of the state's most beautiful regions, we must do all we can to prevent the devastation that has occurred and is occurring in Southern and Central Oregon. If we're cautious as we're out and about in the woods, if we're extra careful, only Mother Nature can deliver what is beyond our control.
When we're out enjoying the mountains over the next few weeks, whether it be for hiking or picking huckleberries or camping, be especially careful with fire. Obey the fire restrictions that are in place. Don't go four-wheeling over dry brush. Don't flick cigarettes out the windows of vehicles or smoke outside of vehicles. Don't take chances with campfires, which can emit sparks. Our forests, like most of those around the state and the West, are a time bomb right now.
WE'LL ALL KEEP HOLDING our breath, hoping our time for devastating and uncontrollable fire doesn't come. But with the driest part of summer headed our way, and after several weeks of hot weather, chances are our region is next in the chain of wildland fires that have been plaguing the West and have put thousands of people on notice of evacuation.
Let's do what we can to make sure that if any fires start, they aren't caused by humans. We can control what we do and how careful we are. What we can't control is Mother Nature.
Brace yourselves. August is here.
If the 2001 Oregon Legislature has a legacy, it won't be how it made Oregon a better place, solved the school funding crisis or anticipated the economic slowdown that was about to hit the nation and the state. The assembly's legacy might be much more basic. The Crater Lake license plate that will be available later this month most likely will be the 2001 Legislature's most enduring product.
Oregon long has needed a symbol on cars like other states have. Something that is strictly Oregon. The trees plates, the Oregon Trail plates, and even the salmon plates are nice, but they don't say "Oregon'' like our one and only national park does.
It's hard to capture Oregon rain, land use planning or our maverick political style on a license plate. But Crater Lake is different. It's not even controversial. We should display it proudly.