If you haven’t heard about the Eagle Creek Fire yet, it is a large wildfire that is burning out of control in the Columbia River Gorge. At last check, earlier today it had grown to over 20,000 acres since it was started on Saturday, and is 0% contained. It is burning in a rugged, mountainous area that is hard to get into with equipment.
It is a human caused fire. It was caused by a 15 year old boy who was out on the Eagle Creek Trail with some friends, and he was throwing fire crackers over the side of the cliff, on at least a couple of occasion, which was witnessed by two different people that weren’t part of his group. There were also roughly 140 trapped on the trail because of this idiot’s actions who had to be rescued.
It has gotten under my skin because of the complete disregard and disrespect for anyone and anything other than himself. He has now gone and completely changed one of Oregon’s most famous natural attractions, and you know it’s not going to look like the picture below again for years to come, if ever in my lifetime. All of these trees and underbrush, burned, in a senseless act of selfish self-centeredness.
These pictures were taken a few years ago when a friend of mine and I had hiked up to the top of Multnomah Falls.
Anyone who has read my blog at all knows that I absolutely love the outdoors and going hiking, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. While I am sure there are other beautiful places to Hiking outside of where Oregon, Washington, Northern California, Oahu and British Columbia, these are the only places I have had a chance to go Hiking in so far. No matter where you live, having a complete and utter disregard for the natural spaces, not to mention people’s lives, homes, businesses, places of work and churches is horrible (and criminal).
You know that this Creek that makes Multnomah Falls no longer looks like this, and will not look like this again for years to come.
I am an advocate for fire safety, as well as for preserving our natural spaces so that they can be enjoyed by anyone who wants to visit them. I have zero tolerance for entitled idiots who choose to ruin these places for everyone else who wants to enjoy them. Wildfires caused by lightning is one thing, human caused wildfires are plain and simply criminal.
I am not judge or jury in this case, but I would like to see a precedent and example made of the teen with the fireworks and his friends. I would love to see them have to replant trees across Oregon and Washington (the two states effected by their actions), every spring and early summer, for a good 20 years, as well as have to help with wildfire clean up and forest restoration in the late summer and fall, help rebuild houses and businesses burned by wildfires, and have to pay some form of monetary restitution for the financial damage they have caused. Then this should be used as a teaching example in schools on the subject of what can happen when you choose to be an idiot and play with fire in the forest, especially when it is a tinderbox.