Since Aug. 19, when the Chetco Bar Fire exploded and threatened the Brookings-Harbor community, the Pilot staff has worked hard to provide residents with the latest fire information.

Our task has been made easier by the many national and local fire officials, as well as local authorities, especially Sheriff John Ward, who have provided up-to-date information at a moment’s notice and at public meetings.

The consistency and accuracy of the information has been spot on, and the streamlined communication system has greatly reduced much confusion and squelched unfounded rumors.

At the same time, hundreds of firefighters and support personnel from across the United States have battled the fire, working 16-hour shifts for at least 14 days straight.

Throughout it all, the Pilot has been impressed with the professionalism and graciousness of these valiant visitors to our area. (And our local law enforcement and fire agencies, too).

Judging by the number of “Thank you firefighters” signs around town — and Sunday’s “Firefighters Salute” on Highway 101 — the residents of Curry County feel the same.

While we have grown accustomed to seeing these knights in soot-covered armor, along with their numerous fire-fighting rigs and heavy equipment, we should never take it for granted.

We send a heartfelt message to those on the front line and those providing us with information: “Thank you from the bottom or our hearts.”

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