Summer of Smoke

By Jim Morris

Fire is the dominant subject in our valley, region and state. Firefighters are bravely battling wildfires and the losses are stunning and growing.

Everything else is secondary to public safety. Next on the list of concern is the enormous property loss; including lives forever changed by these disasters. Thousands remain evacuated, as communities pull together to help fire victims.

In my trip to Redding last weekend, I was amazed at how this devastated region is rallying to support first responders and fund fire victims. I attended one event that raised $55,000 for victims of the Carr Fire. The dozens of signs in front of the Redding Fire Command Center were incredibly touching, and, I hope, encouraging to the heroic firefighters.

In the Sacramento Valley, a smoky haze has frequently dominated the view. Brian Baer captured this view in Glenn County that’s worth a thousand words.

The potential impact from the frequent haze over the rice crop is unknown at this time. It will undoubtedly be subject of a lot of discussion and observation by growers and researchers. The answer will come in the fall.

In the meantime, hopes and prayers continue for fires to be safely extinguished and fall rainfall to help restore our region and begin the healing.

Jim Morris is Communications Manager for the California Rice Commission. Jim has worked in communications for more than 20 years. When he’s not on the job, he enjoys his family, faith, football, outrageous monster stories and running marathons.