At the front lines of protecting our Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument during the Oregon Gulch Fire were more than 1500 men and women from state and federal cooperating agencies. Two hundred acres of Monument land were part of the 35,129 acres (as of August 11, 2014) that burned in this fire, which straddled Oregon and Northern California. Lightning strikes and a long drought caused this fire, and these conditions continue to be a serious problem for Southern Oregon.
We give thanks to our firefighters who risked their lives. Even during their time off, they showed kindness and compassion to all our community members, especially to those who lost their homes and possessions.
A wildfire makes us vividly aware of the fragility of our homes, community, and natural resources. When they are lost, either through carelessness or by lighting strikes, it takes a long time for the homes and forests ecosystems to rebuild.
A wildfire urgently reminds us to learn, communicate, and work together as community to protect and conserve our lands—the loss of biological diversity and ecological integrity is real. As a result of this fire, we’ve learned how vital and vast our social network needs to be in an emergency. Timely and well-defined communications helped to coordinate well-trained personnel and equipment across local, states and federal agencies. It also gave up-to- minute data through digital media, including Facebook and Twitter, which was widely accessible.
As the final mop-up proceeds on the Oregon Gulch Fire, take time to appreciate what our Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument offers---learn why this place is worthy of protection through our Hike and Learn series that continues through September 2014 (see Calendar of Events). Then when you see firefighters, tell them thanks for protecting our lands.
--Terry Dickey, Chairman
Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
Thanks to agencies in the Oregon Gulch Fire:
Greensprings Rural Fire Protection District; Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office, CALFIRE, Oregon Air National Guard, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Emergency Services, Klamath County Emergency Management, Siskiyou Office of Emergency Management, Oregon Department of Transportation, Keno Rural Fire District, Jackson and Josephine County Fire Defense Boards, Bureau of Land Management, Pacific Power and Light, and private landowners.