Wildfire information as it affects RVers

11

By Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR

I just walked outside my home north of Seattle and glanced upward. There, barely visible, was the sun, nearly totally obscured by the orange sky. Wildfires are burning up and down the Pacific coast and the smoke moves where the wind blows it. I can see it and I can smell it. It’s eerie.

The smoke is so thick and widespread that NASA’s EPIC camera aboard the NOAA Deep Space Climate Observatory spacecraft captured a photo on Sept. 9 from one million miles away that clearly showed smoke from the West Coast wildfires.

About 2.5 million acres of California is burning, about two-thirds the size of Connecticut. At least 19 deaths have been reported in California. The blazes have engulfed more than 1 million acres of land in Oregon, leaving at least eight people dead and forcing evacuations in populous counties and parts of the state unaccustomed to wildfire. An estimated 500,000 people, or more than 10 percent of the state’s residents, were under evacuation warnings or orders Saturday. At least five entire towns have been destroyed by fire in Oregon. So has much of Malden, Washington, and swaths of Big Creek and Berry Creek, both in California. A 1-year-old died in Washington state, and his parents are in critical condition after they were unable to escape a wildfire. The couple lost their unborn baby, as well.

As of Thursday morning, 102 large fires have burned 4.4 million acres in 12 states, including California, Oregon and Washington, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Look at this video of the devastation in Medford, Oregon. I have visited Medford many times and never imagined a fire like this could happen there.

As I started putting together a list yesterday (Saturday) of all the lands in the West where campgrounds and recreation facilities are now off-limits I realized it would be far too long for me to include here. So I suggest if you are traveling now and headed anywhere in the Western states that you investigate where you are going, and passing through, before you hit the road.

Please leave a comment below about places you have encountered that are now off-limits, including those campgrounds and RV parks where your reservations have been cancelled.

For the latest fire information, check these sources

Start by checking here, at InciWeb. Search a map from the federal government for current wildfire information.

• In Washington, see fire danger in your area.
• In Oregon, check wildfire information at this state information source.
• Here’s the latest information about California wildfires.

Learn about smoke and air quality where you are or where you are headed.

Good luck wherever you are. My advice: Stay put for now if you will be anywhere near a fire scene. It’s ugly outside now. The air isn’t a whole of fun to breathe and it’s not healthy, either.

##RVT965b

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Gordy
17 days ago

When I lived in California in the 70’s, I remember hearing about not clearing out under brush and such because the cost was too much. Seems to me that the price is getting much higher to not do it. Feeling very sad for those who are now suffering the consequences.

Bill Langton
18 days ago

I live about a mile from the point of origin of the Almeda Fire that devastated the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon. Tuesday’s weather was a huge contributing factor with a “once in a generation” wind event that produced dry, east/south-easterly winds (180° from our usual prevailing winds) with gusts in excess of 50mph and humidity levels in the single digits! The fire, which started in Ashland ran northwest with such speed, it was difficult to outrun!

As of Saturday, officials are revising their original estimates of homes lost from 600 to approximately 1700! Even in your short excerpt of aerial video, you can see there are far more than 600 homes lost!

A huge blow to the Southern Oregon region which will take a decade or more to recover from…

Phil J
18 days ago

We went to Collins Lake campground (CA) on September 8th and arrived about 2PM and set up camp. At about 1AM we were awoken with sirens and aPA announcement to evacuate immediately. Came out of the 5th wheel with the ridge across from the lake on fire. Controlled panic breaking camp and leaving. Came back on Thursday to get a few items that we left, no damage to the campground but smoke was heavy. Shortest stay in a campground ever but at least everyone was safe, unfortunately not as good for some of the residents where the fire occurred.

kim V
18 days ago

More like climate change according to the scientists.

Diane Mc
17 days ago
Reply to  kim V

Most of us reading this newsletter are old enough to remember the panic in the 70’s over the coming Ice Age and global cooling. Cover of Time magazine had a picture of an iceberg. Were told in scary detail of how the glaciers would make their way down from Canada to the US by….wait for it….the 2000’s. So when that didn’t work, they decided on global warming and when that didn’t work they changed it to Climate Change to cover all the bases. The reason the fires are so horrific in CA is the lack of forest management for the last 40 yrs. Just let it grow. The dead trees & under growth clogging the forests, making it like a tinder box. Add the beetle infestation that killed off whole areas of forest. No allowance for safe harvesting of trees by lumber companies who then plant replacement trees. See Montana and other states that do this.

Bob J
18 days ago

I agree with Bob P. My son and daughter in law are in Colorado now and the smoke has reached them.

Bob P
18 days ago

Without trying to sound like a Bible thumper I believe we are living in the Book of Revolations with all the hurricanes and earthquakes happening in places where there hasn’t been before. God said after destroying the world with water he would not do that again, but instead would use fire. With all the news about the left coast being so anti church and God you may be seeing the wrath of God starting there.

Crowman
18 days ago
Reply to  Bob P

More like mismanagement of our forest for the last 50 years allowing fuel build up.

Tom
18 days ago
Reply to  Crowman

Yep break out the rakes, and to rid of the smoke we all need to face east and using a hand fan wave it to drive the smoke away.

Judy S
18 days ago
Reply to  Bob P

Many of your fellow bible thumpers have lost everything. Pray for them, at least.

Bob
18 days ago
Reply to  Bob P

Agreed