If you haven't given it much thought, do so now: Fire season is raging around us!
While I watched with alarm as smoke pushed up from the south on Sunday — it engulfed the Flathead Valley and mountainous terrain between Kalispell and Middle Thompson Lake — fire broke out nine miles south of Eureka and raced eastward toward the residential area of Pinkham Creek. Again.
The record rainfall in June lulled quite a few us into thinking conditions were better than they are. But remember the winter of "no snow?" And now summer has found us with a vengeance threatening early on to set a record for August high temperatures. July, already an historically dry month, came in at less than one-third of the so-called norm.
It's both dry and hot out there. Don't add to the problem with carelessness. It's your friends and neighbors who have to deal with the problem.
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On Saturday, I talked briefly with Jon Dunham, husband of retired Libby High School teacher Kathy Kimberlin Dunham who is fighting cancer right now.
At Treasure Mountain Casino & Restaurant, nearly $8,000 raised in several fundraisers was presented to the Dunhams to help with Kathy's medical bills.
"You know something," Jon Dunham said to me. "This community is something else. You can't get two people to agree about anything. They would rather fight like hell. But something like this comes up and they pull together like no where else."
That's an accurate observation. And it's something we should never forget or ever allow to change, no matter the circumstances. We have to take care of our own — anybody who lives here.
The community and the surrounding areas are undergoing progressively more change socially, financially and aesthetically. There is little we can do to change that actual evolution but we do have the opportunity to embrace that change and shape it to work for us.
One thing we should never allow to change is that reputation of a "caring community." It really defines the people of this area. No matter what the circumstances in the community, we can always dig deep emotionally and financially to support our neighbors.
As long as we have that we are rich beyond measurement and the rest will follow. — Roger Morris