Fire in the skies…smoke in my eyes here in Juniper Canyon as
Wildfires are burning thousands of acres in the Blue Mountains, making the last week intense and incredibly scary…
A week ago we had the perfect storm conditions in the Blues…after three years of drought, we had lots of dry fuel waiting for that perfect strike of lightning and we had a dry lightning storm hit the Blues last Thursday night into Friday with intense winds that fueled the fires…while last Friday…
We had an epic dust storm here all day with winds over 50 mph…
And those same winds blew into the mountain fires fueling them with run away flames…residents of Canyon City lost 39 homes to the fire over the weekend due to the winds causing the fires to triple in size. In Oregon alone as of this morning, 300,000 acres have burned with 12 wildfires yet burning.
The weather forecast for Thursday and Friday this week is calling for more wind…I pray the winds stay down here and not hammer the mountains again. We live several miles from the actual fires but we know the mountain country well…I grew up in those mountains on the family cattle ranch…and we love our mountains.
My heart is heavy for the residents who lost their homes in Canyon City and for all the people evacuated from their homes as the fires rage on…my prayers are also with the men and women who are fighting these fires, their job is not easy and I pray that God will protect each one of them.
Our local paper this morning ran a large article on the fires, I have grabbed bits and pieces of it below for you.
The Pacific Northwest is one of three regions nationwide under a wildfire Preparedness Level 5, which means there are more than 14 un-contained large fires exhausting local agencies, northern California and the northern Rocky Mountains are also at Preparedness Level 5, while the Great Basin region — made up of portions of southern Idaho, Nevada, Utah and northern Arizona — is at Level 4.
All together, there are approximately 95 large wildfires burning 1.1 million acres of land in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada and Colorado. The situation is so dire that, for the first time since 2006, the Department of Defense has agreed to send 200 active duty personnel to assist firefighters.
In Oregon alone, there are 12 un-contained large fires burning nearly 300,000 acres, according to the Northwest Inter-agency Coordination Center in Portland. The majority of acres on fire — more than 225,000 — are also on fires that are less than 30 percent contained, which means they have a long way to go.
Jim Whittington, spokesman with the state Bureau of Land Management and regional Forest Service fire staff, said crews prepared well in advance for a difficult fire season based on a third consecutive year of drought and record-low snow pack last winter.
What’s made this year unusual, he said, is the intensity of the season in such a short period of time, with the region hammered by a perfect storm of lightning and wind over the past two weeks.
“There’s an intensity here that probably has not been matched in a number of years, or ever,” Whittington said.
Currently, we are under an air quality alert due to the heavy smoke in the air…out here it is not as bad as Pendleton which lays at the base of the Blue Mountains…however the smoke was noted here all day as once you step outside your eyes burn and you can smell it.
We are heavy in heart and prayerful that God will intervene in this massive fire event…the western states seem to be burning up with terrible fires. We need rain without wind…
May you be blessed where ever you live…and if you are close to any of the fires, I’m praying for your protection and that the fires will soon be over!
HRCG…Ellie and Melody are over and out for now…but never for long:)