From the mayor’s desk: Meadow Martell

What a difference some rain can make! O’Brien residents who were on a level 3 evacuation are back in their homes. O’Brien, Takilma, and the Hwy 199 corridor are now level 2- get set. North to Cave Junction is level 1- get ready. Although this is good news, we are not out of the woods yet. Wild fires are fickle and containment of the current 10,084 acres of the Smith River Complex North is only 9%. A drying trend is anticipated for this coming week and fire activity is expected to increase again.
The Oregon State Fire Marshal sent resources from Benton, Klamath, Lane, Marion and Polk counties home. Many thanks to these crews, who assessed, prepped, provided protection and improved the fire resiliency of more than 700 homes and 1,800 outbuildings within the Illinois Valley. Crews will continue to patrol, assess, and prep structures in all zones.
The Lions Club Labor Day Festival was smoke free, and vendors braved the rain bursts Saturday and Sunday. I am hoping that the Labor Day Parade on Monday goes well. Fortunately, it is not raining at this moment, but the Main Street Cave Junction float I helped decorate on Friday is looking a bit soggy. We will be there anyway! I hope you will be there too.
Highway 199 is now open to piloted travel for both commercial and public travel. This is good news for our businesses. They have been feeling the economic pinch of no traffic to the coast.
There is not a lot of city news to report this week. No news is good news since we have all been coping with fire and smoke stress. One thing we are considering is changing the hours City Hall is open. This will allow staff to complete critical tasks without interruptions on certain days. New times will be posted.
I hope you have a great week and that you are safe and happy in your home. It is important that we all stay alert and help one another in these times when there is stress and emergency. My next letter will be the last week in September. I will have some interesting information for you then.