I live just 30 minutes outside of Portland, OR. Not far from where presently, there is a huge fire raging. I am also a nature photographer by vocation and this fire happens to be in the Columbia River Gorge, one of the most naturally beautiful and scenic areas in all of the United States. Consequently, I am deeply saddened by the destruction. And, I am angry…
Allegedly, some teenagers shooting fireworks in an incredibly dry forest started the fire. It has been reported that they were admonished and warned, which they subsequently laughed off and then continued with their momentary excitement with the fireworks.
As of now, 9/8/17 at 5:00pm PDT, the fire is 7% contained and encompasses over 33,000 acres of pristine land. Homes have been destroyed, businesses lost, and commerce derailed – I-84, a major Interstate has been closed along with the rail line connecting Portland with all points east. The economic impact will be enormous.
But for our community here in the Northwest it goes deeper than that. For many of us, we feel the destruction of the Gorge personally. We have encountered beauty there and we have been forever changed because of it.
So, it’s not surprising that this has instigated a lot of conversation about justice and punishment. Over the past few days I have observed that anger, almost visceral, has been the most common emotion for our community. And because there were persons who are responsible for causing the fire that now rages, that anger has been aimed directly at the perpetrators. …read the rest of the article on John MacMurray’s Website