January 06, 2021

Vantage Point

Erin Flannery Keith, Issue Editor

We cannot escape news stories about disasters and the people and lands that they affect. As I write, several towns in Oregon have been wiped out by the September 2020 wildfires, including the tiny town of Talent, where my husband lived as a young child and where his great grandparents are buried. Other fires burned in the populous Portland suburbs, the Willamette Valley, and in the Cascade Range, typically lush areas that have been experiencing drought and higher temperatures. To date, wildfires have burned over 1 million acres in Oregon this year, which is nearly double the average number of acres burned in the last ten Oregon fire seasons.

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