Natchez Fire Transitions to Pacific Northwest Team
by Judy Bushy Reprinted from Klamath Views in Siskiyou Daily News August 21, 2018

There used to be an old song, “Smoke gets in Your Eyes.” February 2, 1964, Judy Garland performed the song in a comedy performance on her variety television series, The Judy Garland Show. In her “romantic” performance she sings longingly, sitting at a small table, in a favorite comedy of the day.

So that is what Happy Camp is doing, keep on singing and grateful it is only smoke and we have heros on hand with the skills and experience to put out the fire as quickly and safely as possible.

We are so very thankful for the hard work (and dangerous) done by the Rocky Mountain Fire Incident Command Team that has just transitioned in on the fire, and all of the firefighters crews and support people, who have come here from many different places.Some, have even come as far as Australia!! Fires got a big early start in Oregon (22 at one time) and the Northern California (record setting Carr in Redding and Mendocino Complex which is believed to be largest historically) and even British Columbia in Canada! That is the reason for the “smoke in our eyes”– Not necessarily the (ver romantic) fire in our heart.”

I am especially grateful for the Public Information Officers who keep us informed so we don’t have to worry and fret. They let us know what is happening with the fire, pros and cons, and it’s great to KNOW! Josh Veal has come out from Yreka, as has Patricia Grantham, and Duane, and they are always quick to say that they will be happy to answer any questions. One thing about the town Meetings at the Grange is that other people ask such good questions.

The questions of whether salvage logging will be done after the fire is put out is not the concern of the Fire Team as they will be back home in Montana or wherever home is. That is a completely different department of the Forest Service and doesn’t get involved in timber or silviculture or fisheries or other departments. The time it is important to make your views known on salvage timber and logging is when they have public meetings specifically for that purpose. those meetings are often under-represented by local members of the community and that is the time to make your views known. It is important at that time.

We are grateful Eric Haskell, Marble Mountain Gift Co and others are distributing masks to wear when the air is hazardous. The Karuk Tribe is even lending air filters, and keeping the Senior Nutrition Site open from 11 to 5, or the clinic during normal hours, for a place for those who need to get out of the hazardous atmosphere.

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