On August 13, the Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark toured the Taylor Bridge Fire, visiting areas not accessible to reporters and the public. Staff took and then posted to Flickr this photo of a house that had been saved.
A few days later, we received this wonderful email:
Just wanted to thank you for this pic:
The little white house is our place, and our parents next door were taking care of our home & dogs while we left on a week’s vacation to the Oregon beach on Saturday. Needless to say our vacation wasn’t very relaxing for a couple days! The now iconic picture of our neighbor’s place behind us burning, as well as recognizable forest burning hot just down the road, and updates of friends and co workers listening to the scanner relaying the battle in Clark Flats going for hours lead us to believe that our house and out buildings were history.
THANK GOD the firefighters proved us wrong!
We have always tried to keep the place cleaned up of accumulated fuel (you can end up with piles of tumbleweeds against things down here) and a large area on the windward side of the houses mowed down in the hope that it would give us a slightly better chance of surviving a fire. While I’d like to think it helped a little, the reality is that it was probably massive human effort + divine intervention that ended up saving our home and outbuildings.
I joked with a friend that I should have left more beer in the fridge for all those brave strangers who fought so hard for our little house. But then I had to amend that statement with: there really isn’t enough beer made to properly thank all the firefighters who defended our property.
At the risk of wearing it out, I’m saying it again: THANK YOU SO MUCH!
On a fire with national media attention there is an interagency team of what we call public information officers at the fire supported by communications staff at the administrative offices of the agencies involved. Working along side the hundreds of firefighters it is heartening to know that the use of social media can bring relief and comfort to at least one family.
Our hearts are still heavy for those who have lost their homes and hope that the communications effort has eased their stress during this tragic fire.
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