A time for prayer

There will be a prayer booth set up for the community and firefighters to thank all who responded to or were affected by the recent Chetco Bar Fire.

Join us for a 24-hour time of prayer, from noon Friday, Sept. 29, through noon Saturday, Sept. 30. The booth will be set up in the parking lot of the former Fireside Diner, south of the Chevron service station, on Highway 101 in Harbor. Please drop by and join us. A free Gideon New Testament will be available.

The booth is established by the local representatives of the Gideons International, and our local faith-based churches are invited to assist.

Individuals are invited and encouraged to stop by to pray for our community and the firefighters who have dealt with our tragedy with such courage.

Anyone stopping by can ask for and receive prayer for themselves, family members or friends who may have been affected by the fire. We are looking forward to this being a boost for our community and its morale, and a big thank you on behalf of the firefighters and their supporting staff.

Our country’s president has asked us as Americans to unite in prayer setting aside our differences. The Gideon International is sending teams to Florida and Houston to do the same.

We know prayer works, and we have much to be thankful for: Rain, no loss of life, a community that pulls together, more than 1,600 firefighters, support personnel from within and outside our area — too much to list it all.

If you wish to assist us in the booth, contact me at 541-661-7168 or skiptyler@icloud.com .

Skip Tyler

Local Gideon representative


Fire Lessons learned

There have been a lot of comments recently blaming environmentalists for the recent fire issues we have had here lately, and many of them are simply not true.

The fire problem we had this summer can be largely attributed to the failure of the initial fire management personnel to recognize the existence of and be “surprised by the Chetco Effect” for the full month that the small original fire evolved into a pilot light for the eventual conflagration.

It appears that the Forest Service policy of letting many fires burn in remote locations is a valid one in most circumstances, as studies have shown that regular small fires reduce the likelihood of much larger ones later when the fuel supply is allowed to build up for decades.

That is a seemingly sensible strategy in most areas, but obviously not along the Chetco River.

I have read statements that claim that environmentalists have prevented the use of power equipment, chainsaws, dozers or any aerial equipment to fight fires in wilderness areas. This is simply not true, as all have been used extensively here in the past few weeks. I have also read that vehicles are no longer allowed in these areas, which is also untrue.

The remedy to prevent a similar event in the future here is not to blame those who genuinely wish to preserve our forests, but to be aware of our unique local weather conditions, just as they do in LA and San Diego during the Santa Ana winds.

Instead of overreacting and revamping carefully. planned strategies for the forests of the entire state and the nation, the simple solution for this region is that all future fires anywhere along the Chetco River must be extinguished as soon as possible.

Kevin Vanginderen


Fire: Friend and foe

I was glad to see God mentioned in the Pilot’s editorial column (Sept. 20) as that is who designed and built our forests — with fire!

Nobody wants to see anyone’s home burn or our water quality impaired, but sometimes a larger perspective is required.

Fire has always been here. We (European Americans) have been here as a society less than 200 years. Scientists, using methods such as tree-ring data, have mapped large fires in this area long before our arrival. The rather unfortunate reality for us is that the forest needs fire to stay healthy.

Any gardener in our area will tell you that our soil tends to be the acidic end of the pH scale, and must be regularly amended with either lime or wood ash to remain productive. The forest is no different. We can log and thin it ‘til Kingdom Come, but unless we take into account the delicate balancing act taking place below the surface, we will see a forest increasingly susceptible to insects and disease.

So, it is always a question of when, not if, the forest will burn.

The best we can do is build as fire-safe as is possible and attempt to “manage” the fuels around the perimeters of our homes and communities. Ultimately, God started this fire and that’s who will put it out.

Someday, we know the Earth will shake mightily beneath our feet. We live with this reality as surely as we do with the presence of fire. If this seems unacceptable to you, feel free to take your chances in hurricane land, tornado alley, or one of our giant urban centers where the ways of mankind have dominion over those of nature. Sometimes.

Tim Scullen

Gold Beach

Where can we run?

Well, it has happened: The two bullies from two different school yards have come together.

First we have the posturing. Now the name calling, followed by weapon threats. “I have a bigger gun than yours!” “But, I’ll get my hidden one!”

The kids in the yard gather round to watch the fight. OH! A real weapon! The kids start to pull back a bit. The hollering escalates.

Then a real bomb shows up! Who cares which kid brought it. Run! Oh? Where can we run?

Chris Malek


dyslexic numbers

For years now, when I check sports scores, the team that scores the most points is mentioned first.

For an example, North Valley 37, Bruins 7, or the score 37-7 North Valley, or Bruins 7 to North Valley’s 37, but to read in our beloved Pilot newspaper (town’s only source for local news) quoted from print, “Knights repeatedly marched into the Bruins end zone to go up 7-38.”

Why do we, the readers, have to accept being treated like 5-year olds when we read sports scores, as if we can’t figure out that 37-7 means the Bruins only scored 7 points.

If college grads are coming out with journalism degrees and writing “dyslexic numbering” for our reading benefit, I would reconsider sending our youth to college anymore. Would our feelings be hurt if we mention the winner first? Come on.

The Bruin team is young and learning how to go about winning. Let’s treat them with reality. They will get grit and toughness with success. Coach Wardwell is correct with his saying “grow and take ownership.” Go Bruins.

Richard Leathers