Thursday, September 10, 2020

Possibly the Most Unsettling Thing You'll Read Today

That's the most click-bait title I've ever written, but I believe it's justified. It certainly is the scariest thing I've read in quite a while.

Before we get to that, apologies to our readers for the extended absence. The past year-ish has been crazy and eventful, some good, some not-so-much. But we're in good health, surviving the COVID-19 "worst pandemic EVAR!!!", and staying the Hell away from Portland as much as possible. All in all, doing much better than a lot of folks.

If you've been checking in regularly for new content, thank you for your patience, and again, sorry for the wait.

In any case, back to the topic at hand: Oregon has some pretty nasty wildfires burning right now. 

Labeled Aqua image of the Oregon Fires from Sep 10, 2020.
There are no clouds in this image; that's ALL smoke and ash. (image credit: NASA)

It's all the local news is talking about (even COVID is yesterday's news), but there are two aspects they're not mentioning.

One is the air quality from all the smoke and ash. It's bad:

592 on the index. Note that the scale tops out at 500.

The other is the scary part: the cause of the wildfires. They're not occurring naturally.

From Law Enforcement Today:

A series of wildfires in Washington, Oregon, and California are now being considered arson – and sources tell Law Enforcement Today that they may be part of a “coordinated attack”.  Law enforcement throughout the west coast is reportedly being put on alert to look out for “opportunists” and those who may have more sinister motives.

Nobody has said what those "more sinister motives" might be, nor any speculation about the political affiliations of the suspects. However, the timeline is most or all of the wildfires in the first image have started in the past week or so.

I have a loose theory, but it'll take a bit to explain. Bear with me.

[*dons tin-foil hat*]

If you want to travel from the coast or Willamette Valley to Central and Eastern Oregon, there are five main passes over the Cascade Mountains:

(image credit: Google Maps. Arrows added by yours truly.)

From top to bottom:

  • I-84 East from Portland
  • US-26 East from Portland
  • OR-22 East from Salem
  • OR-20 East from Corvallis
  • OR-58 East from Eugene

Observe that the first two go through or near Portland, while the last three avoid it.

As of yesterday (sorry, no closure map available), OR-22 was closed due to wildfires. The towns of Gates, Mill City, Detroit, Idhana, and a few others were burning. Some sections are still closed today.

Parts of OR-20 were also closed for a while, but those fires were brought under control.

What about OR-58?

Law Enforcement Today again (bold emphasis mine):

A middle aged man with tattoos was determined to set fire at the state park in Dexter, Oregon.  On Wednesday, September 9,2020 firefighters arrived to someone attempting to start fires at the Dexter State Recreation Area, an Oregon State Park. The park is along Highway 58. This is one of the few places people can travel in Oregon and not deal too heavily with fire.

Here's my tin-foil-hat theory. The fires -- particularly the ones along the highways -- look like a coordinated effort to do one or both of two things: Keep people boxed in the valley in their homes, and/or prevent help from coming in from Central and Eastern Oregon.

Central and Eastern Oregon are mostly rural, conservative counties, a.k.a. "Trump country". If Oregon has anything like the "Cajun Navy" that helped evacuate Louisianans after Hurricane Katrina, it would come from there.

Oregon Presidential Election Results 2016.svg
Oregon 2016 Presidential election results by county
(image credit: Wikipedia)

With the highways closed, any travel over the Cascades would have to route through the Portland area -- dangerously close to Antifa's seat of power and influence.

All in all, it seems a good way to force a confrontation between Antifa shock troops and unorganized "militia" groups coming in to help during an emergency. That such groups would be subject to Portland's stricter gun laws while in the area is only a bonus.

[*doffs tin-foil hat*]

But I'm #JustABlogger, not a "real journalist", so what the Hell do I know?

Stay safe out there.