I miss the rain. I really do. One of those great examples of how you don’t miss something until it is gone. For all of the complaining we do about it here in the Pacific Northwest, this current record breaking, long stretch of very dry weather reveals how much our area truly needs the reliable amount of moisture we receive for its continuation and survival. There are tradeoffs for all of these days of sunny and dry weather. There are harsh consequences as well.
The local and regional news is filled weekly and sometimes daily with new fire reports and multiple brush fires. Some big, and some small. Entire communities and families displaced because of them. Too many have lost everything they have because of these fires. The air we breathe is filled with the smoke and the beautiful panoramic views we so enjoy under cloudless skies are considerably diminished by the haze.
Outdoor burning of any kind is not allowed and as of this week, the Governor has issued an emergency proclamation of an outdoor burn ban for every county in Washington State.
Citizens and residents need to do their part to keep the risk of these types of fire as low as possible. No outdoor burning means no outdoor burning, period. Keep your butts, the smoking tobacco kind, in your vehicles. Dispose of them properly which does not include chucking them out the window of your car or throwing them on the ground in a parking lot.
Keep activities that have heat or any kind of spark to a minimum or engage in them only in a safe environment.
Assess the amount of brush or flammable materials around your property. Can you cut some back? Can you remove some by hauling it away? Do you own a personal fire extinguisher in your home or car in the event a small fire does indeed break out?
These are extremely dangerous fire conditions that we are living in right now. Take them very seriously.
I say bring on the rain, I am ready for it and will welcome its life-giving return. Going forward I will try harder not to complain about the rain so much. Everyone can remind me of this promise come February during the endless days of gray skies, damp conditions and cold rain that come with that particular month. This summer and fall I have been fully reminded of the quality and beauty of life that a significant amount of rain provides for all of us.