End of Summer News

Welcome to the End of Summer News! But is it really the end?  As I write these words the forecast for Labor Day weekend and beyond is predicting 100-degree temps!  Hot weather to return to school this next week! Try to stay cool and hydrated this next week and be ready to help others who may not have the ability to find a place to cool down or who aren’t drinking enough water.

FIRES continue – as most of us have noticed smoke has been filling in our skies lately.  There are numerous fires burning throughout Oregon and beyond.  Specifically, in Marion County the fires up in the Willamette National Forest continue to burn and more than likely they will continue burning until the heavy rains or snows fall in the Cascades.  Will that be in October or November?  I’m nowhere near being an expert, but my common sense tells me that the carbon and other pollutants that have been released into our air supply are enormous.  Forest harvesting and firefighting practices will continue to be a discussion point into the future.

Economic Impact of Fires – after two years of low lake and river levels the North Santiam River Canyon had a great start this season.  Detroit Lake experienced record water levels and the businesses that depend on recreation were doing very well.  But then the fires hit and the news about health hazards from smoke, possible road closures and evacuations changed people’s attitudes and thus behaviors.  The closing of the Jefferson Wilderness Area and the Pacific Coast Trail became front page stories and the expected guest to these areas for the Eclipse never materialized.  The far east side of the state did achieve a very successful influx of guests, but the Eclipse weekend in the Canyon was lighter than a regular or even a busy or holiday weekend.

At our board session, Wednesday the 30th of August, we approved an order for a Level I Notice of Evacuation of Breitenbush Hot Springs Resort.  This does not require visitors to leave but means “get ready to go” in case the fires become more serious.  Level II was authorized if  emergency management and other public safety officials deem it to be necessary.  Level III would be a mandatory evacuation.  Best way to describe this is READY, SET, GO!

This update is not to be the bearer of bad news, but rather to share information and encourage you to have safe and fun last days of summer.  Who knows how long before some of us will be humming CCR’s song – “Who’ll Stop The Rain”?