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Search - "literal trashfire"
Having some thoughts as I sit here, trapped in the house by equal parts coronavirus and a layer of smoke drowning out the sun. The smoke is a bit of an annual thing; every year, some irresponsible jerk will go out and put their convenience and enjoyment over everyone else's quality of life.
It's a bit different this year since coronavirus has given people cabin fever. Those same people who lose their minds after weeks of isolation and suffering the indignity of wearing a mask headed out into the wilderness for recreation in record numbers.
The result is record wildfires.
Where I'm at, it's mostly coming from the eastern part of our state. The area is typified by being on the mountain range's dry side, more rural, less densely populated. Towns have burned, people lost their homes, millions of acres of land will likely burn before it's over. It happens every year; people pack up, head out into the wilderness, and cause devastation due to a simple lack of common sense or regard for the consequences of their actions.
On the west side, we see the fallout in the form of days without sunlight and abysmal air quality. We also see it in cost; we will unquestionably and without hesitation contribute to eastern recovery efforts. The western half of the state will cover almost all of the damage in both taxes and recovery aid. Our local ethos demands it.
The mountains form a kind of natural barrier, both cultural and environmental. The fact that few people cross the mountains by choice is symbolic of that divide. Those who enjoy greenery and lakes and thriving vibrant nature prefer the west, as we have them in abundance. People who have a strong appreciation for distance between themselves and other humans prefer the east, as it affords them cheaper land and few urban environments.
Here's to hoping people learn from this in 2021.19