Thanks firefighters

As a resident of Carpenterville Road, I want to thank all those doing their best to save our lives and our homes.

Today, I personally met the team from Fire Truck 359, associated with Task Force 2808. They are one group among many who are doing their best to help us. Brandon, Kyle, Byron and Justin are their names and I can now put a human face to the men behind the scenes. They have families and loved ones waiting for them back home too. Don’t expect they will get to read this. They have a few things to deal with!

As I write this, my life is in a suitcase and I’m ready to roll with animals if necessary. For all of you who have lost your homes or are worried, my thoughts are with you. I may become a member of such an unfortunate club.

Let’s not forget. It’s not possessions, it’s the memories we create over the years with the world around us that count. No fire can burn those from our hearts and minds.

And finally — I may have to put a flare up for Earl Grey tea! My stash is getting low! We fought two World Wars by putting the kettle on! (stiff upper lip don’t yer know!)

Humor — it’s a life saver!

Jan Marney


Saw it coming

The official explanation for the lack of initial direct fire suppression efforts on the Chetco Bar Fire:

“Because of the risk to firefighter safety, low probability of success of a direct attack strategy and minimal values at risk, fire personnel are currently focused on constructing contingency lines, conducting reconnaissance for access, scouting safe entry points, locating natural features for containment opportunities, protecting wilderness values and developing a long term plan for safely engaging the fire.

“Fire managers recognize the Chetco Bar Fire will likely be a long-term event. It is being managed under a suppression strategy using a mixture of direct, indirect and point protection tactics when and where there is a high probability of success.”

The translation:

Despite the availability of air tanker suppression equipment, including massive jet, propeller plane and Chinook helicopter aircraft we will not directly attack the fire for many weeks and allow it to grow from a quarter acre to five thousand acres for over a month in an area that less than 15 years ago had one of the worst fires in Oregon history.

We will hope that rain will eventually suppress the fire sometime in October and that the routine occurrence of the Chetco Effect will not occur before then. Locals are well aware, this famous weather phenomena regularly causes very hot air to race down the Chetco Valley to the ocean at this time of year and will likely cause smoke that is so thick that air support can no longer be used effectively. Only after the fire does explode massively as a result to more than 70,000 acres in just a couple of days and rapidly and inevitably approaches the city of Brookings we will then finally employ massive resources to try to save the town and its surroundings.

I hope that next time less time is spent concocting blithering and ridiculous explanations for carrying out no direct efforts at fire suppression for weeks and instead more time is spent marshalling all of the air resources available while the fire is still small, manageable and visible from the air.

Am I the only one who saw this coming many weeks ago? I doubt it.

Kevin Vangingeren


Working together

It’s truly a shame that the Curry Coastal Pilot didn’t choose to cover the very positive, factual, inclusive, public workshop, “Working Together for Expanded Health Care.”

Instead, they evidently chose to keep their letters to the editor open on Friday to accommodate an unwarranted attack on Commissioner Sue Gold. Wow! How do folks get on that exception list?


•It’s the South Curry Health Care Alliance (SCHCA) that “hosted” the workshop, and has been working voluntarily for almost two years in search of “win-win” health care solutions;

•The fact is South Curry can have a hospital, and, as a satellite of Curry General could benefit the whole county;

•Beating the dead horse of annexing 97415 and increasing our taxes to pay for decisions made in and for Gold Beach is counterproductive;

•Sue Gold has been working on real possibilities to address both the financial survival of the Curry Health Network and equal healthcare access to the 60 percent of our county living in 97415. This began over two years ago, before she was elected commissioner;

•Commissioner Gold clearly understands how poor healthcare and below average educational outcomes impact our county’s financial health and development. Sue has worked as a volunteer on these issues for years;

•How about the Pilot and those who want to attack, try listening, addressing facts, and work together for mutually beneficial solutions?

Ed McDonald