IMAG2899I’ve lived up Skyliners Road for more than 20 years; it’s a wonderful, tight-knit community nestled in the forest, about eight miles west of Bend. I love living in this environment, but it comes with some unique challenges and inherent risks. The average amount of snowfall is greater than down in town, and living in the forest means there are no fire hydrants.

I feel fortunate and grateful to the firefighters who protected my home and tackled the Two Bulls Fire. This experience was a tacit reminder of what’s most important and how easily lives can be changed.

At one point during this past week, there were four fire trucks on my property charged with the duty of defending my home along with my neighbors’. The Governor invoked the Conflagration Act to allocate resources from around the state to defend structures against this wildfire.

As of Tuesday night, I’m back in my own bed and very thankful to all of the personnel involved.

Upon arriving home, I was greeted by a note on an outdoor chair. I had left an old, decrepit Adirondack chair outside near the garage when I left under evacuation orders. Apparently a firefighter had taken a (well-deserved) break, and sat in the chair and subsequently broke it.

Taped to the chair was a letter of apology along with a BRAND NEW Adirondack chair. The Oregon State Patrol took it upon themselves to replace the chair and leave a note explaining what had happened to my chair.

I was deeply touched by the note and their having taken responsibility for the chair. Quite frankly the chair is trivial in comparison to my gratitude for defending my home, where my two daughters have been raised. Nevertheless, this is a true testament of the firefighter’s character, and it was important to me to tell this story and express my appreciation.