This week fires have burned more than 1 million acres in Oregon and more than 422,000 people live in evacuation zones. Scores of these have been evacuated to places around and beyond our state. Entire towns have been decimated by the fires. So many people have lost everything. One couple decided to come home a day early from a vacation at a cabin on Detroit Lake. The next day their family cabin had burned to the ground.

In the middle of the fires, some ruffians have enacted evil by looting the homes of those evacuated. But others have stepped in to bring light.

“Friday, trucks rolled up from Klamath Falls, OR to Tangent, OR laden down with hay, oats, and chicken feed. Tens of thousands of dollars worth of donated materials sent by Timber Unity Farmers to help families with displaced animals.”

“For many of these families, the animals they evacuated represent their livelihood. Keeping them alive and safe is important not just because Oregonians love critters, but because for some, these animals are going to be their first step to rebuilding what they’ve lost.

The Detroit Fire Department lost their station and one of its fire engines to the fires. When the Aurora Fire Department heard about this, they gave the Detroit crew one of their engines filled with medical supplies and much else for them to rebuild.

Volunteers, called the red neck crew, took their tractors, excavators to the ridge above Scotts Mills, an Oregon community, and began to cut a swath of land free of bushes and trees to create a fire block. These men were not firefighters, but neighbors. Their actions spared this area.

The Oregon Convention Center opened its doors, long closed due to COVID, to families and their pets. Countless family members and friends are housing evacuated families as well.

So many have lost homes, possessions, jobs, and others their lives. Before the fires came, already stress was high between job losses, depression, pandemic rhetoric and fear. Now, everything is smoky — our air, our hearts, our emotions. Yesterday we had the dubious honor of the worst air of any place in the world. This is when we need to guard all the more against projecting emotions onto one another.

Often when we feel stress because of one thing we will project that stress onto others. The way around this is to keep processing what you are feeling, so you don’t “kick the cat because you are mad at your boss.”  Instead, you can bring light to others around you.

When the feelings are too big to process, or you cannot solve a conflict, give us a call. We have a great resource list of counselors to help with the feelings and mediators to help you solve tough problems.