As natural as this statement is becoming, it should alarm us. I had a conversation with a younger elk hunters the other day, and they mentioned that the smell of wood smoke reminds them that the season is close, as it "smells like this every year." It is truly alarming that the younger generation's worldview contains such memories. Most have been surrounded with wildfire smoke in September for as long as they could remember. To them its as familiar an elk camp smell as coffee brewing and bacon sizzling. When you think about it, it is commonplace for people that started bowhunting in the past decade. It didn't use to be!
I can remember years of clear blue skies, and wildfires that didn't decimate the landscape. It was common to walk up on a lighting struck tree that had been smoldering for a week, but lacked the fuel to spread uncontrollably. So, what has changed?
We can't talk about the devastating fires of the past decade without exploring Global Warming, or the newest catchphrase Climate Change. Most of the world wants to equate our crisis to it alone. Here is a link promoting the narrative. https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2019/07/wildfires-and-climate-change-whats-the-connection/
Climate change is a real thing, as Climate is always changing, but is Climate Change the major contributor to our wildfire epidemic? And if so, why now?
The Climate of the west, is one of chaos. It can be sunny one minute and snowing the next. I have personally fought fires when it was 100deg at its start, and a week later freeze in the frosty mornings. So I have experienced climate change first hand, but is our planet getting exponentially warmer?
Did you know that severe drought isn't a new thing for Oregon? Take the Meek wagon train of 1845, and the severe drought that affected them. Many pioneers died because of it. The account of their death is well documented. People hired Meek to guide them through Oregon's high desert, but Meek didn't recognize the landscape due to an extreme drought that dried up the lakes he trapped on a decade earlier. You can read all about it here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meek_Cutoff
If Climate change is something that is a natural occurrence why are we having such catastrophic fires nowadays? I think the problem lies within the degradation of the biblical worldview of man. The Bible places humans as the Managers (have dominion) of the earth. It says that humans are to act as God within the created order (made in His Image.) God placed man as the crown of creation, and gave him the responsibility to manage it. The creation was for man, and man should view it as a blessing, thus treat it as such. Once the philosophy of Darwinism placed man in the role of an animal, belittling humanity, the idea of human management faded. Faded so much that there are those who think the planet is worth more than humans. This naturalistic philosophy of such people, stands in direct contrast of what God has said in the Bible. As a matter of fact, most philosophical naturalist believe we are the scourge of the earth, and as such need to depopulate ...check out this paper from academia http://www.zo.utexas.edu/courses/THOC/Scourge.pdf .
Sure, we humans have done horrible things to this planet. We have allowed our unrepentant, sinful, nature get in the way of doing what is right by our home, but that is no reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater! When we do, we buy into the Materialistic view that man's hand doesn't belong in nature. That man doesn't have to answer to a higher calling. That man is just another animal who overconsumes like the coyote, and shouldn't have a say in how the planet is managed. It is this worldview that dominates 2021. So much so, that the United Nations prepared a agenda to combat man's position in the creation. The UN's Agenda 21 sets out to reduce man's assigned task of "working and keeping the garden" (Gen. 2:15) https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/outcomedocuments/agenda21
Such an Idea is in direct rebellion against God's words...thus, it is destined to take us to the place that we find ourselves now. A "garden" full of mismanaged Forrest with unsustainable fuel loads.
Like everything else in life we will eventually reap what you sow. The smoke in our nostrils is a deep reminder of that.
What can be done? We need to Repent! We need to put God back in the place he belongs. Believe that what he says is true, and do what he says by getting back to true stewardship, that's responsible to God! Relying on our "don't touch, live and let live," ideas have created a forest full of death and destruction. It's plain and simple, the earth was never created for, or can sustain, a naturalistic worldview. Neither can your own life. Without trusting the Creator, and the Way He made on the cross, we are destined for the same fate as our forest...death and destruction. The philosophy of Darwinism has left our culture dead and dry tender for the Fire. We have gotten complacent to the smoke. Even clung to it as normal, but this spiritual drought is headed towards that same place as our forest, death and desolation.
There is still hope! We have to turn to the Living Word of God, as he is the only hope for the Forest, and more importantly the only hope for humanity. He paid the price to quench our fire on the cross.
Revelation 7:17 ESV — For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”