This summer has been full of natural disasters and for the Pacific Northwest it’s been one of the worst seasons for wildfires, in a long time. Earlier this summer we had the opportunity to visit the North Cascades Smoke Jumper Base, near Twisp - this is where smoke jumping started in the United States, and is a close-knit, and very professional group of people who jump out of planes, into forest fires. The dedication, and expertise of the firefighters who work there is humbling, and amazing.
The smoke from the fires blanketed the region for weeks at a time, bringing with it air quality warnings, and an eerie dreadful feeling. Sometimes we could smell smoke, sometimes just feel it.
While Seattle and Portland were staring up at a red-orange sun in a uniform grey sky, favorite landscapes burned, and thousands of people were evacuated, or on evacuation notice. One of my favorite towns was on evacuation notice for most of a month, and though their town is fine, their tourist-based summer business was as dead as winter.
California, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho are still on fire in many locations.