The Delta Fire in far Northern California must be taken especially seriously. Not only has it closed Interstate 5, linking all the west coast states of Washington, Oregon & California, but it is destroying extremely beautiful country. This country includes Mt. Shasta, Castle Crags and the wild land headwaters of the Sacramento River not to mention all the tourist towns and communities that derive their economy from tourism.
I have lived in Redding, California and Klamath Falls, Oregon for many years. I have a son, grandchildren and friends who live there as well. I have fished, camped, climbed to the top of Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen and Mt. McLaughlin, and hiked in the many trails of Siskiyou Mountains. As a consequence, I have made and continue to make many automobile trips to the area every year to visit family. I am very familiar with the entire I-5 corridor from Portland to Sacramento.
What is happening by way of the Delta Fire is a national tragedy! We must take stronger action to protect our real property, our scenic land, and the air we breathe. We must recognize CLIMATE CHANGE for what it is: a very serious threat to our future existence. That may sound overly dramatic but if we just settle for the present situation and expect that “next year” won’t be so bad; we will be in for a terrible shock! We must pay attention to this threat and I refer you to the 2016 film, *The Age of Consequences* on dvd.
Just one outcome of this change in our climate will be the movement of the population from south to north to escape drought, destruction, and poverty.
The state of Oregon is absolutely not immune to this catastrophe and should take immediate action to protect our beautiful state from a danger that must not be underestimated.
I urge you to contact your elected officials to protect fire-resistant old growth timber in Oregon forests and adopt positions advocated by science-supported groups like 350.org. Serious study must be done which may have to include restrictive legislation.
It is past-time to put in place measures that will actually address climate change. We are all responsible for learning from the Delta Fire and taking action.
*Fritz Ulrich has been a resident of Salem for nearly 30 years. Born in Portland, OR, he attended junior college in Washington state before going on to California for undergraduate work and a Masters Degree in Social Work. Ulrich is married with two children and two grandchildren. He retired from mental health work in 1999.*