Helping each other through wildfires

McKenzie River by Curt Penrod

For families and communities all across Oregon, the fires this week have created a time of unprecedented stress and hardship.  The hot, dry weather combined with unusually high winds have created extreme fire danger all across the Pacific Northwest, and thousands of Oregonians have been forced to flee their homes.  Too many homes have already been lost.

Those who love Oregon’s forests, mountains, and rivers are also fearing what these fires may do to some of our most special places. But as past fires have taught us, nature is resilient. Many ancient trees will likely survive these fires, and the forests will recover.

What is important right now is taking steps to protect our communities, families, homes, and animals from the smoke, extreme heat, wind, and fire danger--and coming together as Oregonians to support one another.  If you live in a rural or semi-rural area, it is more important than ever to be prepared.  Assemble an emergency kit, have a plan for what you will do should you need to evacuate, and follow local fire information and updates. 

Find out more here about how to assemble an emergency kit, and plan for what to do in the event of an evacuation.  

You can find reliable news updates on Oregon fires here:
Oregon Wildfire Resources
State of Oregon Fires and Evacuations Dashboard
Clackamas County Wildfire Information
Douglas County Wildfire Information
Jackson County Wildfire Information
Lane County Wildfire Information
Marion County Wildfire Information
Linn County Wildfire Information
Lincoln County Wildfire Information

If you are able and would like to support families who have been displaced by these fires, please consider making a donation to the Red Cross Cascades Region and the Oregon Food Bank. Both are working to help address the economic hardship and disruption to people’s lives caused by these fires. In Lane County, the local United Way chapter is also working to support those affected by the Holiday Farm fire. Your local United Way chapter may have a similar fund for other communities.

In times like these, we are all in this together.

Photo Credits
Curt Penrod