I grew up in Fawnskin, California, population 380. It’s a small mountain community similar to Packwood. Fire threats and looming evacuations were a common signal of the end of summer. I remember one year when my single father packed us three kids, a dog, a cat and a rabbit into his single cab work truck and we spent an afternoon trying to get out of the smoke and off the mountain to my grandparents a few hours away. One thing I always appreciated was when things got tough, the community really came together. They made sure a poor family like mine had enough gas to leave and food to get there. Religion didn’t matter, politics didn’t matter — for the time being, we would all just be a community looking out for each other until everyone made it to the other side of the embers. That sense of community was a big driver for returning to my rural roots and ultimately choosing Lewis County to do so back in 2016.
“I want to thank all the first responders, volunteers, USFS, Red Cross, Salvation Army, White Pass School Dist., Lewis County DEM, Health Department, Public Works and so many others for coming together to support the east end community affected by the Goat Rocks fire. I’m grateful to live in Lewis County. It is an amazing community we live in to support each other during these trying times.”
This was a quote recently posted to the campaign Facebook page Re-elect Rob Snaza for Sheriff. It captioned a photo of Snaza standing alone, facing down a smoldering mountain. I would like to thank Mr. Snaza as well. From what I am being told, he returned early from vacation to be able to assist in these efforts. I just wish he would not politicize them. It makes the efforts themselves seem disingenuous. Mr. Snaza admits in his own posting there was a litany of people and resources already working diligently. So he returned for what? A few epically staged photos, one standing alone in the road facing down a mountain, another photo texting while driving despite having multiple passengers capable of assisting him, a few shaking hands, etc.
Sheriff Snaza has previously politicized his public service office to the extent there are people within our communities who are simply not comfortable going to him for assistance, least of all during a disaster. To attempt to politicize these events for a few cheap photo opportunities is a disservice to our communities. Politics and campaigning have no place in natural disasters that impact us all.
I want to thank all the first responders, volunteers, USFS, Red Cross, Salvation Army, White Pass School Dist., Lewis County DEM, Health Department, Public Works and so many others for coming together to support the east end community affected by the Goat Rocks fire.
I especially want to thank everyone who was capable of doing that without bringing their politics or campaign efforts into the process.