Corbett residents recall fire experiences
While wildfire smoke from around the northwest settled in Corbett, causing the sun to set in a red hue, at the Corbett Grange, participants were writing about another wildfire last year that hit closer to home.
The Grange writers were documenting their experience with the Eagle Creek Fire at a writing workshop on Wednesday, Aug. 15. The Eagle Creek Fire broke out in the Gorge nearly a year ago, and caused an evacuation order for a portion of Corbett along with evacuation warnings for nearby towns.
The Eagle Creek Fire was started by a then-15-year old boy throwing fireworks into the Eagle Creek Canyon on Sept. 2, 2017. The blaze eventually consumed more than 48,000 acres in the Gorge.
In May, the boy, whose name authorities have not released, was ordered to pay $36 million in restitution.
All workshop attendees had a different story to tell about the conflagration, but all could recall where they were when they first saw or heard about the fire, and they were asked to write about that experience.
Apricot Irving, a published author who helped lead the workshop, said the fire was a traumatic event for all who experienced it, and writing about it will help the witnesses understand the event.
"You've been embodying the work of resilience," Irving told the crowd. "As we tell our stories. We're reconnecting and reintegrating our brains."
Michelle Abramson, who helped organize the event, saw the fire from the sky as she was flying back home from vacation. She was looking out the window of the plane and was shocked by what she saw below.
"I saw rivers of fire burning before us," she said.
Most passengers were sleeping on the plane but started to wake as the plane's cabin filled with smoke.
Abramson's story was one of many shared by the 25 writers at the event, and the stories will be compiled into an anthology for the Crown Point Country Historical Society History museum, which is under construction across the Historic Columbia River Highway from the Corbett Fire Station.