I write posts one day in advance, so this one was written yesterday (Tuesday) and is not the one I planned to write.
I live in Washougal, a small town on the Washington State side of the Columbia River about 20 miles from Portland, Oregon; a town that calls itself “the gateway to the Gorge.”
In spite of its proximity to both Portland and Vancouver, WA, it’s a very rural area.
I woke today to a gray sky, the smell of smoke and everything covered with a mix of fine wood particles and ash.
Apparently, some teens thought it was the height of entertainment to film throwing fireworks into Eagle Creek Canyon on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge.
“Even though that kid threw the firecracker, all of those kids he was with are complicit. All of them watched, all of them did nothing. They all were a part of it. One filmed it,” she said. “When I came upon them, and the guy threw the firecracker, I’m pretty sure I heard a couple of them giggle. The guy was filming it like it was another thing to film, no big deal. The whole complacency of that group, I find it so disturbing.”
They did this in an area that has seen no real rain in months; an area under fire prohibitions.
That was the start of the Eagle Creek Fire.
Then, for the first time since 1902, the fire jumped the Columbia, caught and started the Archer Mountain Fire.
As I write this, that fire is less than six miles from my friend’s house and only 15 miles from mine.
The air, inside and out, is smokey.
Hopefully, the winds won’t start up and neither of us will have to evacuate.
There is so much I don’t like about today’s world that it’s hard to choose the worst.
However, I reserve a top spot for people, no matter their age, who don’t think about / don’t care how much damage they do so long as they get their 5 seconds of social media fame, along with those who stand by and watch.
Image credit: Brent/KOIN TV