the Oregon Road Wildfire
This wildfire in rural northern Elk WA began on August 18, 2023 in the early afternoon. It was a hot and extremely fast-moving fire pushed around with wind gusts exceeding 45 MPH. We know, because we were there.
The Medical Lake fire started at the same time and all air support that was working the Elk “Oregon Road” fire was removed and sent to Medical Lake. Air support was not split up between the two fires, it was all moved to Medical Lake ONLY. The firefighter ground crews in our area of Elk (Oregon Rd) were told to “stand down and let it burn” – “only handle the evacuations”.
Nelson Creek Fire
Three years ago the Nelson Creek Fire was stopped only 650 feet from our home/property. Courageous firefighters were astonishing with ground forces with a full company of air support. In our neighborhood all of our homes were saved, losing only outbuildings. Their heroic air show was a dance I will never forget. Helicopters, jets, prop planes, and ground crews swooping in and out, accomplished a miracle, YAY!
After the Nelson Creek Fire’s close call, Pete and I checked our home insurance and increased it to cover the cost of rebuilding if it happened again. This made our bills higher but we thought it was worth it. Now, we are in the process of negotiating to receive that insurance coverage. At some point, we should win the ARM WRESTLING MATCH with the insurance carrier, then we can proceed. So, our belts tighten up and we do what we can do until then.
Elk is a community I love. It is full of strong and opinionated “freedom-loving” people. We work things out for ourselves, thank you. And we know our neighbors.
Five months after the wildfire, many of us have lost absolutely everything and are still displaced but we will not be giving up. Dealing with the loss of all of our STUFF is hard, but even if you see a tear leak out of my eye, I will not be stopped. The sun keeps coming up each morning and setting each night. We are still required to go to work or attend school, and take care of the kids and animals.
We shiver as we continue to experience the arrival of below-zero temperatures this winter.