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Think Out Loud

Small Newspaper Gains New Role During Wildfire Season

An attack plane monitors the fire's progress in Pine Creek on Wednesday, August 26.

An attack plane monitors the fire’s progress in Pine Creek on Wednesday, August 26.

Lori Iverson/USFWS

When the Canyon Creek Complex started burning in Eastern Oregon this summer, community members in Grant County immediately stepped up to help each other. Residents and businesses offered emergency housing, supplies and free meals. Donations from all parts of Oregon flowed in as well.

A small weekly newspaper in John Day took on the big job of helping make that happen. The Blue Mountain Eagle became an communication hub for resources, fire status updates and up-to-date information about where to find help.

We’ll speak with the paper’s interim editor about the newspaper’s role in the community during these past few weeks, and we learn more about how residents of Grant County are dealing with the wildfire.


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