Oregon burns again in September, bringing more evidence of climate change – Oregon Capital Chronicle – Oregon Capital Chronicle

by | Sep 13, 2022 | Climate Change

It is September, and once again Oregon is burning.  
From my perch in a fire tower in the central Oregon Cascades, I can see nothing but smoke. Satellite images confirm that the Northwest is engulfed in dark, ashy clouds. And I wonder: Will we ever again feel that end of summer swoon that comes as the days shorten and the leaves turn and children go back to school? 
I remember the terror of the September 2020 fires that burned more than 1 million acres across Oregon. Much of it was in western Oregon where the mountains and valleys are swathed in moss and lichen and waterfalls run year-round through damp forests. The unprecedented infernos consumed everything in their path. Fire trucks, scorched. Homes, incinerated. Barns, businesses, entire forests and communities, destroyed. And the wildlife. Birds, elk, bears and deer and predators, like cougars, bobcats and badgers. Killed or displaced, just like so many people.
Across western Oregon there were quickly expanding lists of mandatory evacuations and confusion and shock. “How can this be happening?” “Weren’t we just celebrating Labor Day?” “Isn’t this supposed to be a rainforest?”
Now, here we are again, two years later almost to the date, waking to skies the color of a bad bruise — orange, purple and gray. We reach for our phones, turn on the televisio …

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