So far, the Eagle Creek fire is seven percent contained. Air quality in Vancouver and Portland has dramatically improved from earlier in the week. There are hundreds of firefighters working to get it under control. So, that's all good.
They've decided not to release the name of the fifteen-year-old boy who is suspected of starting the fire, which is probably for the best. I'm unbelievably angry and sad that a teenager's carelessness caused this much fear and destruction, but releasing his name would probably make everything worse. Despite his name not being made public, he's gotten plenty of threats and ill will. I think he should be punished to the full extent of the law, not by us.
Speaking of people who deserve to get punished by the full extent of the law, someone stole a firefighter's Jeep while he was fighting the fire, and ransacked the fire station.
Also, someone robbed a food truck that was providing relief supplies to the firefighters. Said food truck was robbed not once, but twice.
I wish I could say I was surprised that people would be so cruel. But I'm really not. Just...more anger and sadness to join the already full tank of it that I've accumulated over the week.
I hate that we live in a world where things like this happen. Maybe that's a naive way of thinking. Maybe it's foolish of me to wish that we lived in a better world. It certainly doesn't feel like a realistic way of thinking, at any rate. Terrible things have always happened and will continue so. The world is still burning down around us, both figuratively and literally.
At work the other day, I was talking to a woman about the fire, and I mentioned that it was very sad. The woman said that God had spoken to her and told her that this was meant to happen, that this was part of the natural cycle of life, and that we should be rejoicing. I'm not a religious person myself, but I am nothing if not a diplomat, and so all I said was that it was still sad. She said she understood why I might feel that way and that she would be praying for me.
The thing is, forest fires are a natural part of life. I completely agree with that. They happen naturally and they allow for rebirth and regrowth. However, this was not a natural forest fire. This was caused by a person who didn't care about the consequences of their actions. That doesn't feel like part of the cycle of life to me.
I apologize for having been so bitter and cynical this week. I feel like it's worse than usual. It is prompted by external events, true, so this isn't coming out of nowhere. And I'm trying to deal with it productively, by rambling about it in various blog posts and not by keeping it bottled up. So that's something, I suppose.
My poor therapist is going to have a time dealing with me on Monday, let me tell you.