Stories of Loss and Community: Oregon Comes Together in the Face of Calamity

It's Monday morning. Wildfires are still raging up and down the West Coast, including in my beloved state of Oregon. I am looking out the front window of my Portland home at the houses just a block away that are shrouded in a yellowish smoky haze. Trees three blocks away are mere shadows, barely discernible against the sky.

But I'm lucky.

I can stay inside my home with the air filter my husband jury-rigged from a furnace filter and our old box fan, only venturing out briefly when our dog needs a potty break. So many of my fellow Oregonians don't have that luxury because they, like Naked Acres' Gus Liszka in the video above, have had to flee their homes, many leaving their farms, their crops and sometimes their animals in the face of the fires sweeping across our state.

I have been so moved by our agricultural community that has come together to help their neighbors, no questions asked, and the facilities, community members and volunteers who have been caring for their neighbors and their animals.

And that little white farmhouse standing against the black skies on the left? That's Gus's home.

If you'd like to help, here are organizations that are aiding local farmers and ranchers directly: