I live in the Pacific Northwest–Southwest Washington state, outside of Portland, OR, to be specific. Contrary to popular belief, it does not rain here 24/7, 365 days of the year. It isn’t always gloomy and cloudy.
In the summer, it’s dry and hot.
And do you know what doesn’t mix with dry, hot conditions? Fireworks. We’ve been under a burn ban for a while now. I mean, duh?
But there are always those idiots that don’t get the danger. A lot of them are teenagers. Who light fireworks in a state park in the middle of a dry spell. That’s how you get the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge.
The fire started Saturday afternoon and is now over 5,000 acres and spreading west. I live west. In fact, they have been evacuating towns on the Oregon side of the river to Stevenson, WA. Which is a 25 minute drive from here.
I watched all day as ash fell in the area, covering everything like snow. Black snow.
This was the little bits gathered on our grill around 3:30pm.
The ash: around 3:30pm, around 5:30pm, and almost 7pm.
I’m afraid to see what it looks like in the morning.
These are what we’re calling “ghost” pine needles. They are really just ash in the shape of a pine needle. It’s very sad.
Since this afternoon, they’ve closed the Interstate going through the Gorge and a bridge crossing over to Washington. Several towns have been evacuated. More are waiting and ready just in case. The winds have blown embers, sparking more fires west. Watching the Twitter feed is heartbreaking.
Remember kids: only you can prevent forest fires. By not fucking shooting fireworks off in a forest during a drought.