I just want to let everyone know that I’m ok. I’m surrounded by fires, but there is little chance of those fires actually reaching Salem. Monday night, we had a strong wind system come in from the east while we’re under dry conditions. It exacerbated existing wildfires in the Cascades and started new ones by knocking down power lines in both the east and west ranges. Tuesday morning, I woke up two hours after sunrise in pre-dawn darkness, the whole world cast in an apocalyptic red glow. The day remained dark and eerily red, and it darkened to dusk two hours before dusk as well.
Conditions are improving gradually, the skies have faded from orange to yellow to gray. The ashfall is less today. We now have cooler, moister air coming in from the ocean and hopefully a little rain early next week. However, these fires have been catastrophic for my region. Places I know and love have been razed. Lives and homes have been lost. The worst part is knowing that this likely isn’t a freak occurrence. We are suffering the consequences of greed, selfishness, and a blatant disregard for not only the delicate balance of our ecosystems, but for our own future. I have to hope we can turn it around and learn from our mistakes.