Forest on fire

Photo+credit+to+KTVB.com.

Photo credit to KTVB.com.

Mary Kimball, Editor

We’ve all heard of Smokey the Bear’s famous saying, “Remember-Only you can prevent forest fires!”  Unfortunately, on September 2nd a 15 year old boy accidentally set the landscape ablaze on the Eagle Creek hiking Trail.  This young boy was said to be playing with fire works, since we’ve had an unusually hot and dry summer the flames quickly took hold of the terrain.  Eagle creek is a body of water that flows into the Columbia River, therefore being a part of the Columbia River Gorge.  Locals consider the gorge to be one of Oregon’s most beautiful hiking locations.  The Gorge is home to over 140 hikes which attract visitors from all over Oregon and sometimes the country.  The wildfire has consumed more than 30,000 acres of the forest and it is still burning.  It is threatening hikers and homes around the area. From Wilsonville, The Columbia River Gorge is about a forty-five minute drive, but we are still feeling the consequences.  The sky is filled with smoke, causing the air quality to drastically decrease.  This is having many affects on the community. Citizens were advised to avoid exercising outside, meaning many after school sports are being shortened or canceled.  Also ash has been floating through the air, accumulating on cars and buildings, this is very bad for our lungs.  Many have taken to social media to memorialize the beautiful hiking sites, posting photos from past hikes, and reminiscing on the memories.  These people never realizing these places they spent their childhood visiting could be taken away so fast.  It is devastating to know that hundreds of years of beauty can be ripped away by a split second decision to throw a firework.