Bob Spiwak Monkey MazamaBy Bob Spiwak

Of all things, this is being written on a machine called a “typewriter.” It is like a computer. It is much harder to make corrections on.

I am using this 54-year-old machine because of the biggest new story of the decade — the big fires have cut off our electricity and it may be weeks before it comes on again. Elsewhere in this paper there will be lots of fire-related news, more detailed than can be done here.

A lot of the blame for the fires and their extent has to be the recent heat, at times in the triple-digits. The real culprit was lightning a week ago. We have been told that over 120,000 acres have burned as of this writing (the total is now over 200,000). From the Pearrygin Lake area, it was only a matter of heat, wind and time before it was at and over Highway 20 at Loup Loup, with wooden utility poles in harm’s and flames’ way. The last reports we have heard are that the Twisp-Winthrop megalopolis could be powerless for up to three weeks (not an official report). Several Mazamans went to “the Coast” for generators.

Along with most local businesses, the Mazama Store could deal only with cash — the gas pumps could not transmit credit card information nor could the registers in the store. People complained — a few, anyway — about not getting gas on credit, or why they were not advised that Winthrop and Twisp were as far as they could go. The large majority of people were understanding.

Along with no electricity for the usual stuff, folks in Mazama and well beyond were without cell phone service. We have always kept an old land line that is immune to electricity failure, but we have to call other old-timers who also have land lines.

So, another week passes. Our regrets to all who have lost property and we are thankful as there was no loss of life from fires. On the bright side, the county put a bright yellow stripe down Goat Creek Road.