Monday, August 31, 2015

"We Are Still Standing!"

August has been an eventful month... first the fair and then the fire!  The fire began on August 12, exploded on the 14th and fire crews have been battling this monster ever since.  At this writing, there have been 101,465 acres burned.  Weather wind conditions take the flames where they may and it is ongoing.  Below is a photo that I took of Canyon Mountain a few years ago towards the end of the winter season.  The mountain is blanketed in cool snow and bathed with sunlit clouds.  Recent photos show a different Canyon Mountain blanketed in smoke as timber trees and underbrush give way to flames licking up it's defining ridges.

The photos below shows smoke plumbs and clouds, which are the dramatic effect of a fire that is having its way in forested areas, dry and neglected through regulation and environmentalist stronghold - a perfect storm when introduced to the dry weather pattern in the Pacific Northwest.

Many lost their homes who lived in the Canyon Creek area lying at the base of the mountain on a road that winds down into Canyon City and John Day.  At this moment in time, 41 homes were burned - a tremendous loss in a small populated area... 39 to the Canyon Creek fire and 2 near Prairie City.  The fire has extended itself into the Strawberry Mountain area and with wind complications has advanced close to the community of Prairie City with a population of around 900 people.   Evacuation notices are in effect because of the fire danger. The firefighters are battling to save the town at this writing.

The John Day Valley has town communities of Dayville, Mt. Vernon, John Day with Canyon City and Prairie City.  They are situated from west to east on Highway 26, spanning a distance of about 44 miles.   When one community is affected by such a catastrophic fire, it affects them all.  The communities have come together in a team spirit where there is no dividing lines - there is but one goal and one purpose and that is to come to the aid of the hurting, to those who have suffered loss and to support the firefighters on the front linesResponsive caring has reached beyond the highway 26 boundary of the John Day Valley into the north, south, east and west of Oregon.  Truckloads of supplies from businesses and individuals across Oregon have come to help in donating what they can to assist in the loss of this devastating fire.  The American Red Cross has been here since the beginning.  Residents are amazed by the outpouring of assistance by others.  Much gratitude is extended towards the firefighters who courageously, in heart and mind, dangerously labor to stay back the fire to save lives and property.  We hear so much about the bad in the world - it is heartfelt to see the goodness in people who far outweigh the bad in such demonstrations of compassion, generosity, and courage in the extension of good will.

With permission of a friend of mine, Jina Carniglia, I present her photo along with her quote, which exemplifies the spirit of the people of Grant County.... 

"Two weeks ago today our lives and our county were forever changed.  The hole in our hearts may never go away, but it is being patched by the love and support of a community that is resilient, strong and amazingly tough!  We may be sooty, dirty, and tired, but we are still standing!!!"

The following photo speaks a thousand words....  in essence, no matter what the circumstances in our life brings in charred loss, life can spring anew in God's message of hope.  My thanks to Vickie Bly who brought this photo to my attention.

This is a continuing story and my hope is that by the time my next post rolls around on Monday, September 14,  I'll have some good news to report about the containment of the Canyon Creek Complex fire.

These are just a few of various news links about the currently active 2 week fire:

Here is a video put together by Audra Clark entitled "Canyon Creek Complex 2015"

Video Link:

1 comment:

  1. Oh, my gosh. We have not been following oregon fires. There have been so many here in California. Sending our love and support.