2020 Oregon Wildfires – Focus on the Home Not the Forest, Experts Say

On Labor Day in 2020, Oregon experienced extreme wildfires, as power lines, arson and other human caused fire starts were fanned and driven by extreme winds and drought into communities, destroying thousands of homes and upending lives.  Toxic and hazardous smoke poured into our towns and cities, and parts of Portland, Salem and Eugene were put in wildfire alert.  All of us in Oregon are trying to make sense of these fires and figure out a path forward, and the Oregonian recently wrote a piece featuring top experts explaining that our efforts to cut vegetation in forests will not slow or stop big fires.  Instead, the certified smart people tell us we have to reduce the chances our home will ignite. 

“Oregon’s Labor Day fires took place on some of the most heavily logged timberlands in the state. And when it came to saving trees, lives and property, that management was largely irrelevant. In fact, some contend it may have made the problem worse.”