Officials to put out more than just wildfires

By Jon Quinn (TheLorian)

Wildfires along the western states, California, Oregon, and Washington have displaced thousands of families, wiped out numerous small towns, and have taken the lives of 40 plus individuals. The fires have devoured historic numbers. In Oregon alone, more than one million acres are burning.

Social media was filled with images of a blood orange sky over the cities in the states listed above. When smoke from active wildfires is in the air, those smoke particles are just the right size to scatter out and eliminate blue light before it reaches our eyes. As a result, only red and yellow light are able to pass through these smoke particles, leading to the blood orange skies.

In addition to the fires, officials in Oregon are having to plead with residents not to believe a QANON conspiracy theory that claims Antifa started the wildfires. One Clackamas county deputy officer was put on leave after being caught on video spreading the conspiracy theory to other residents. In the video, you can hear the officer use expletives when describing the conspiracy theory.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations of Portland tweeted out “Reports that extremists are setting wildfires in Oregon are untrue. Help us stop the spread of misinformation by only sharing information from trusted, official sources.”

In California, the decision was made to train inmates to help fight the fires in attempt to get them contained. These inmate firefighters are risking their life to fight the fires. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an order that gives some inmates a chance to be firefighters after completing their sentences.

“Thousands of prisoners that are on the front lines, that are near the end of their time in prison, that are getting credits, and want the opportunity because of the training they are receiving; This bill that I’m about to sign will give those prisoners hope of actually getting a job in the profession in which they were trained,” said Newsom.

Historically, inmates who did help with previous California wildfires were originally not granted the opportunity due to their felony charges brought against them. These felony charges prevented the inmates from getting a job in the world after their release from prison. Now, some prisoners will have the opportunity to become firefighters after their sentences are complete.

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Jon is currently a junior who is double-majoring in Media Studies and Public Relations. He is heavily involved at Loras as a campus photographer, residential adviser, and a sports editor for the school newspaper, The Lorian.

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