Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

Steve and Karen Walz drove into Portland to pick up Karen’s sister, Diane, on June 28; yes, that was the day Portland hit 116 degrees! All three were glad to get over to the coast. Diane, from Southern California, enjoyed two lovely weeks in Cape Meares. She walked on the beach, saw whales in Depoe Bay, visited the Blue Heron and the Tillamook Cheese Factory, rode in the July 4th parade, and had a fun boat ride amongst other “coastie” activities. One night, Karen hosted a chick flick (“Queen Bees”) and pizza night to introduce her sister to a couple of Karen’s Cape Meares friends. All in all, it was a wonderful two weeks, and Karen was thrilled that her sister was able to relax and chill in our little village.

At a Cape Meares auction a couple of years ago, Merrie and Jon Ziady bought a birdhouse made by Randy Klobas. They report that swallows finally set up home in that birdhouse this spring, providing much entertainment for the Ziadys and their guests. The babies have now fledged and the birdhouse is empty; Merrie and Jon will have to wait to see if the show is renewed for next season.

The lot at the top of the 3rd St. NW is being cleared off for house building. Wow, what a change to have all those trees taken down. The homeowner will have fantastic view of the ocean, Bayocean Spit, Cape Meares Lake, and Tillamook Bay…plus will be high enough to be out of the tsunami zone. Good planning!

Wildfire season is already well underway, unfortunately. The Bootleg fire in southern Oregon has burned more than 200,000. I just received an alert that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry is fighting a fire in the Tillamook State Forest. We all remember last year’s raging wildfires, air quality alerts, evacuations and more. Our Cape Meares volunteer firefighters even got involved fighting the Pike Road Fire up by Bay City over Labor Day last year. What can we do to get ready for wildfires right here in Cape Meares this year?

Charles Sanders, a 40-year veteran of wildfire fighting, suggests the following:

1. Remove dead vegetation, leaves, spruce needles, and other debris from around your home’s foundation.

2. Don’t forget to clear debris from under porches or decks where the wind piles things up.

3. Remove tree limbs closer than 10 feet from the ground so they won’t become “ladder fuels,” allowing flames to climb higher and into adjacent trees.

4. Keep tree branches trimmed back to 10 feet between trees.

5. Remove tree branches that overhang your roof.

6. Don’t stack firewood alongside your home.

7. Position fuel tanks, including the one for your barbecue, away from your house.

8. Have plenty of hoses on hand to deploy in the event of a wildfire.

9. Consider having a roof of metal, slate or other non-combustible material to prevent wind-blown embers from catching your roof on fire.

10. Have a grab-and-go bag ready (the same one you have ready for the earthquake and tsunami).

Stay safe and stay cool this summer, neighbors!


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