EW box is in front of the Blue River Grass Station, located on Blue River Drive. Photo by Upper McKenzie Fire Chief Christiana Rainbow Plews.

From COVID-19 to still more chapters of police brutality against people of color, 2020 has offered a seemingly endless supply of despair. Throw in a scorching wildfire and its smothering smoke in east Lane County — the Holiday Farm fire of Sept. 7, which joined epic fires throughout the I-5 corridor in Oregon to form a historic catastrophe — and it seems people are ready to drop to their knees. Yet common civility and goodwill can still shine in the dense, murky ash. This was evident at Silke Field on the campus of Springfield High School, an evacuation site for residents west of the fire who may have lost not only their homes but all sense of community. It is a testament to the strong community support that is within us. Clothes, toiletries, diapers, paper towels and more have been stacked high for the people in need, so much that volunteers have had to take items to other drop-off sites. There are no questions asked. There are no barriers. There is just the heart of the community reaching out. Also, a new site has opened at the Eugene Masonic Lodge on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Eugene. We hope this deep dive into common civility is not a passing glance, and that there is a light of goodwill at the end of the 2020 tunnel.

• Oregon Public Broadcasting has done such good work in debunking the untruth that antifa is setting fires in Oregon. That simply is not true, according to law enforcement in this state, from local sheriffs to the FBI, and OPB has verified this time and again. We just hope that the right people are listening and truly hearing. Locally, KLCC, The Register-Guard and the TV stations have been tireless in their coverage of the fires. Can we give participation awards to local news sources and journalists that survive 2020?

• Much of our own wildfire coverage has been online as the situation has swiftly changed. This coverage is in addition to our EW Extra meetings coverage. Head to for our truth or fiction on the fires, updates on resources for those affected by the fires, how the city and county are dealing with — or not as the case may be — our homeless population who are outside during this week of off-the-charts hazardous air, and more. 

• Also a reminder to those displaced by the fires or missing pets: EW offers free lost and found ads in our classifieds section. Please email

• DId we mention climate change this week? 

With the election so close, the City Club of Eugene is offering a series of virtual programs to help you make up your mind The Sept. 18 topic is “Evaluating Political Candidates Through an Equity Lens,” followed by “Lane County Commissioner District 3 Race” Sept 25. Join the City Club on the web and Facebook to pick up these programs.

• It’s a smoky mess out there and 2020 just keeps hitting us with doom, but we need to celebrate the good in the world and our community, so please vote in the nomination round for Best of Eugene (and remember like the Weekly, it says “Eugene,” but it includes all of Lane County and Corvallis — everywhere you can find a red box. 

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