Western US is on fire - the 2020 Version

Peaches LaTour

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,340
The wind has totally died down today, it is eerily still. This is good.

However, the air is completely rancid, very, very hazy, yellowish/gray. The sun was a brilliant Orange. The stench in our unit is appalling & we have no way of clearing it out.

We are just outside Portland.
 

Dobre

Well-Known Member
Messages
7,786
Ugh. Just watched the local news. Portland looks black. The mayor is closing parks & public outdoor locations & they are trying to set up evacuation locations for people who may need it. The neighboring metro county, Clackamas, is largely under evacuation orders. Two big fires are coming together & expected to merge in the town of Molalla:(. All of the 9,000 people in Molalla are at level 3 (Go!) and evacuating now. Oregon City is at level 2 (Get Set). My cousin & his family are at level 1.
 

Dobre

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7,786
Wildfires force 500,000 to flee in Oregon, roads clog with cars in Oregon City
 

Aceon6

Isolating from mean people
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20,684
The PGA is playing in Napa, CA this week. Many of the pros who aren’t staying at the resort are keeping key possessions in their cars in case something flares up nearby. Apparently, opportunists knew this and broke into cars earlier this week.
 

Vagabond

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16,338
Please let us know if there is anything we can do, if there is any way to contribute goods or $$$.
 

Dobre

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7,786
Please let us know if there is anything we can do, if there is any way to contribute goods or $$$.
The Red Cross. http://redcross.org
In Oregon, they are especially recommending donations here. (I believe the Red Cross provides evacuees with vouchers that can be used for their most pressing needs?)

"Want to help people specifically affected by the California, Oregon or Washington wildfires? Write 'California Wildfires,' 'Oregon Wildfires' or 'Washington Wildfires' in the memo line of a check and mail it to your local Red Cross chapter with the completed donation form."

Unete
http://uneteoregon.org/?utm_source=...KT20WildfireResourcesEM&utm_content=version_A
The above organization is helping support immigrant working families from Jackson County, which is where many of the most devastating pictures circulating around the national press this week have come from. The towns of Phoenix & Talent were both devastated. I imagine these families have lost everything.

United Way
unitedwayofjacksoncounty.org/give
(Donations for Jackson County wildfire relief)

www.unitedwaymwv.org/wildfire-relief.html
(Donations for the Mid-Willamette Valley wildfire relief)

Oregon Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
 
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Susan1

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7,306
I was looking out the front door Friday night, and it seemed kind of fuzzy out. Yesterday, they said smoke was seen by radar in Cincinnati.

Side note - every September I think about the winds and power outages in Ohio from Hurricane Ike in 2008. Sunday, September 14, massive wind all day here, and the power was out for three days. And then, think - that was an "I" named storm. They're already up to "S" for Sally.
 

Peaches LaTour

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2,340
Smoke from the U.S., West Coast fires has travelled as far away eastward as Europe & into Russia. This was a very interesting news segment on MSNBC news Thursday night.
 

Dobre

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7,786
Notes from Oregon:

-I've read two different death tolls so somewhere between 9 and 10 for certain. There have been concerns that these numbers might really rise because dozens of people were missing; however, I've just read that only one person remains unaccounted for in Talent & Phoenix now, which was one of the major areas of concern. Hopefully, numbers will not rise as much as officials feared.

-More regular west wind patterns have spread the smoke throughout the whole state. Everywhere is essentially at Unhealthy or Hazardous. The smoke has made it impossible for firefighters to use air support on some of the biggest fires.

-The good news is that the west wind is helping to hold the biggest fires in place, as it is pushing the fire back east in the direction it has already burned. This is important, for example, in Clackamas County as it is a major urban county and lots of people live west of the huge fires burning in that area.
-The towns of Molalla & Estacada are still very close to the big fires there.
-Most other communities in Clackamas County have had their evacuation levels downgraded, from either level 2 to 1 or from level 1 to being take off the list.
-The big fires there, however, remain 0% contained.

-A number of other fires in the state are beginning to be contained. (The Almeda fire in southern Oregon is 60% contained now. On a number of others, firefighters are just beginning to make headway. Several fires are now listed at 5% containment.

-There are at least 16 fires burning in the state.

-There is currently a 50% chance of rain in the Willamette Valley on Tuesday night and/or Wednesday. Hoping it will really come and clear the air enough for firefighters to hit the big wildfires with air support. And make a difference on other fires as well.
 
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Karen-W

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4,055
Checking in here from the SW Portland suburbs - today has, by far, been the worst as far as the smoke and unhealthy air conditions. I opened up my patio door this morning to grab a picture of the fog/smoke that obliterated visibility of the trees behind the building across the courtyard and was coughing from the smoke before I finished snapping the picture. Same this evening when I walked a friend to the door after a long sewing session. I cannot remember it ever being this bad due to forest fire smoke in the 15+ years I've lived up here. Pray for the rain. We really need it here.
 

Peaches LaTour

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,340
Notes from Oregon:

-I've read two different death tolls so somewhere between 9 and 10 for certain. There have been concerns that these numbers might really rise because dozens of people were missing; however, I've just read that only one person remains unaccounted for in Talent & Phoenix now, which was one of the major areas of concern. Hopefully, numbers will not rise as much as officials feared.

-More regular west wind patterns have spread the smoke throughout the whole state. Everywhere is essentially at Unhealthy or Hazardous. The smoke has made it impossible for firefighters to use air support on some of the biggest fires.

-The good news is that the west wind is helping to hold the biggest fires in place, as it is pushing the fire back east in the direction it has already burned. This is important, for example, in Clackamas County as it is a major urban county and lots of people live west of the huge fires burning in that area.
-The towns of Molalla & Estacada are still very close to the big fires there.
-Most other communities in Clackamas County have had their evacuation levels downgraded, from either level 2 to 1 or from level 1 to being take off the list.
-The big fires there, however, remain 0% contained.

-A number of other fires in the state are beginning to be contained. (The Almeda fire in southern Oregon is 60% contained now. On a number of others, firefighters are just beginning to make headway. Several fires are now listed at 5% containment.

-There are at least 16 fires burning in the state.

-There is currently a 50% chance of rain in the Willamette Valley on Tuesday night and/or Wednesday. Hoping it will really come and clear the air enough for firefighters to hit the big wildfires with air support. And make a difference on other fires as well.
Do you know if Barton State Park has burned? It is near Estacada & where we swim quite often.
 

Lemonade20

Former Kurtholic
Messages
313
My thoughts are with everyone who has to evacuate due to the wildfires. I’m in BC, Canada and we had two very bad years of wildfires but this is the worst I have ever seen. Stay safe everyone
 

Susan1

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7,306
Tomorrow, we will have "filtered sunshine" because of the smoke - in Ohio. It's high, so it won't affect our air quality.
 

skipaway

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9,197
My cousin is a fire fighter from Alaska and she is presently in Oregon helping to put out their wildfires. She’s in her early 20’s. I think she is one of the bravest people I know. Go Madeline! Be safe.
 

SkateSand

Cat Servant
Messages
677
We had a fire here today about 2 miles from my house. It is contained now and only burned about 15 acres. It was due east 2 miles and the prevailing winds were from the south so I wasn't too worried for our own location as long as the wind direction held steady. But we made sure pet carriers were accounted for and had containers ready to fill in case we needed to evacuate although our street was not one of the ones under mandatory evacuation. This area is heavily forested so it would go up in a heartbeat.
 

missing

Well-Known To Whom She Wonders
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3,506
The New York Times has an article that is the single darkest vision of the future of America that even I (and I'm good at dark futures of America) could ever imagine.

It is full of interesting speculation (forest fires in Florida and Texas), insurance issues, examination of what people believe about climate change ( There are signs that the message is breaking through. Half of Americans now rank climate as a top political priority, up from roughly one-third in 2016, and three out of four now describe climate change as either “a crisis” or “a major problem.” This year, Democratic caucusgoers in Iowa, where tens of thousands of acres of farmland flooded in 2019, ranked climate second only to health care as an issue. A poll by researchers at Yale and George Mason Universities found that even Republicans’ views are shifting: One in three now think climate change should be declared a national emergency) and dire warnings about the future.

For me it all boiled down to Americans don't like winter but I doubt the article intends it to suggest merely that. And the part about how the people left behind from the dust bowl migration have remained poor and uneducated was eye opening.

So if you want to prepare for the worst, or more likely worry about the worst and not do anything about it (although the article does suggest buying property in Duluth Minnesota might be a smart financial move) this is the piece for you. I felt it looked only at worst case scenarios and ignored the human capacity for change and ingenuity, but perhaps I watched too many episodes of Star Trek in my young years.
 

Peaches LaTour

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2,340
Yesterday in the Portland area, our air quality was good enough that we had about 20 minutes total of almost sunshine.

Today, however, it has taken a turn for the worse, again.
 

Aceon6

Isolating from mean people
Messages
20,684
Yesterday in the Portland area, our air quality was good enough that we had about 20 minutes total of almost sunshine.

Today, however, it has taken a turn for the worse, again.
The LPGA cancelled all practice rounds due to the poor air quality. It sounds as if they may need to rethink the schedule.
 

SkateSand

Cat Servant
Messages
677
At the risk of upsetting Oregon residents, as a long experienced Californian living in wildfire country where we have fires every summer and fall, once the fires start, you really don't lose the smoke until you get heavy rain over a period of time. In our case, we suffer with smoke until November, but Oregon gets a lot more rain than we do so you'll get a reprieve sooner.
 

genevieve

drinky typo pbp, closet hugger (she/her)
Staff member
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I opened my windows this am for a while, and I just opened them again. AQI is just under 200, but it's such an improvement over the 250+ of the last few days I don't care. It is roasting in my apartment!
 

7thblade

New Member
Messages
8
I'm based in Vancouver and the smoke from Cali has blanketed our entire province. Hope you guys are okay and things get better. Hang in there. Your mayor should resign though. This could have been prevented or at the very least managed. Especially if you know every year it's the same issue.
 

annie720

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Messages
773
Question for those of you unfortunately living with smoke from the fires. What kind of eye drops are you using? I normally use allergy drops, Opcon-A, but they aren't helping much with the smoke. I'm wondering if I would be better off with something that's more like natural tears. Any suggestions?
 
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DFJ

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Messages
5,407
I'm based in Vancouver and the smoke from Cali has blanketed our entire province. Hope you guys are okay and things get better. Hang in there. Your mayor should resign though. This could have been prevented or at the very least managed. Especially if you know every year it's the same issue.
Mayor of ??
 

Dobre

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Messages
7,786
'I Have To Work': Agricultural Workers In The West Harvest Crops Through Fire Smoke

"It's not easy to work now," she said. "The smoke is so dense. ... I feel dizzy, my throat hurts and my head feels like it's going to explode."

Another example of how this country is failing to take care of the vulnerable workers who a. often don't have documentation, b. don't qualify for federal assistance, c. are helping to feed people.

I have had headaches off and on for probably 3 1/2 weeks also, which is about how long we have had smoke in the air in Eastern Oregon, though the toxicity of the air has been much worse this week. Initially I thought it was stress, though I woke up with a headache in the middle of one night--which does not seem like stress & it had gotten smoky upstairs. It was also worse a few of the days when I was working outside, cutting briars & hauling logs & branches. Today I didn't have a headache, and though I've doubts that there is any healthy air left in the house, I also didn't go outside at all. I have a feeling the headaches may be a combination of both stress and smoke. The day after the windstorm here, I felt the way I do after driving through a snowstorm. Relief combined with actually being physically sore because my muscles had all been tense.
 

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