photo from www.ksla.com
The long summer drought has caused the worst outbreak for fires in the ArkLaTex, that I've ever seen, in the 4+ decades that I've lived in this area. Almost 60 days of 100+ degree temperatures, is a record for NW Louisiana, and NE Texas has had an even longer run of 100+ degree days. I think that it's common knowledge, that I'm partial to Jefferson & Linden, Texas, and the "Bear Creek" fire had me very concerned for those towns. Many homes, and a lot of property, has been destroyed, with almost 60 thousand acres burned, in the Bear Creek fire, and I'm thankful that the town of Jefferson has been spared (thanks to the efforts of it's ciitizens, as well as firefighters and volunteers). I've been amazed by the outpouring of support from around the ArkLaTex, and the vigilant effort from various forms of firefighting teams, as well as so many volunteers. Fires from Tyler, Longview, Gladewater, Marshall, Linden, Jefferson, Avinger, Oil City, Vivian, Blanchard & other areas, have burned for several weeks now. Just when they think they have a big fire contained, other fires (sometimes within fire damaged areas) spark up. From my home in South Bossier, as I sit on my patio, I see red-orange sunsets, and brown clouds, caused by the raging fires in the NE Texas/NW Louisiana area. I have many friends in the fire ravaged areas, and they are in my prayers.
With some of the area towns, tourism is the main industry. Often, before taking the motorhome over to Jefferson, to enjoy a nice getaway weekend (that is only a half hour from Shreveport), I call Laury at the Jefferson City Hall. She has filled me in, on the latest conditions in that quaint little town, that boasts a little over 2000 residents, but grows to tens of thousands on weekends. Even Jefferson Mayor, Jeff Fratangelo, was out fighting the blazes, to keep the fires from the town that he loves so much. One of the best things that I can do, is to not stay away from Jefferson too long, because they need, and welcome my business. The folks in that town, like many other area towns, are the friendliest and welcoming, that you'll find. What I'm saying is, to keep these towns (like Jefferson) in mind, when you want a short-trip getaway. They need your business. They try hard to welcome you, and want you to return often. This summer, I've frequented events and places, from Longview/Tyler (Kiepersol Estates Winery & Vinyards, Great Texas Baloon Race etc.), to Gladewater (Los Pinos Winery & Vinyards), to Linden (T. Bone Walker Blues Festival, Music City Texas Theater) to Jefferson (Classic car shows, the shops, LaMache's, Kitt's Kornbread, General Store, Auntie Skinners etc.) to Marshall (OS2 etc.), to Lake o' the Pinies and Lake Wright Pattman. NE Texas has a lot to offer, and it's all so close to home. Thanks to the many firefighters, volunteers and others, that are fighting so hard in NE Texas, NW Louisiana and SW Arkansas. Big thanks!