2020 threw us a curveball. With a chaotic political field, fires raging, smoky skies, it is easy to get discouraged and feel that we are nearing the end of our tether.  This month we want to use our newsletter to highlight incidents that help us keep faith.

Redneck Fire Crew

9,000 residents evacuated Molalla. The Beachie Creek Fire was threatening their homes. The fire district was small, understaffed, and not prepared to combat a threat that large. Response to the threat was delayed, both local and state government already stretched thin. But not everyone left.

Enter the “Redneck Fire Crew” or “Hillbilly Brigade”. Neighbors, simple people with a truck and a shovel, maybe a water tank or a tractor here and there, little sleep, and determination and courage that would make our founding fathers proud.  It’s unclear how many men and women stepped up, with one article estimating as many as 1,200. The town did not burn.

Our Firefighters

When the civilians step up everyone notices. It’s important to remember how hard the actual firefighters are working. We’re hunkering down inside our homes to escape the smoke, they are working in it.

Almost equally inspiring is the community response. First responders are honored and thanked wherever they go. Donations for those that lost their homes are skyrocketing. In some places, they can’t accept anymore. The people of the state are stepping up and leaving our officials floored by their generosity.

What Can I Do?

Empire is receiving a heartrending number of calls from people that have been made homeless by these fires. We’ve been working with those people as best we can, answering their questions, and speaking with the owners when necessary. But we want to do more.

We ask our owners to consider shorter leases. These people only need a place to live while they rebuild their lives. An eleven-month lease won’t work for them, with most requesting either a month-to-month or a three-month lease. No one likes vacancies in the winter, but if you are willing to risk it, you could help out a hurting family. The best option may be a compromise at a six-month lease.

Moving Forward

2020. The year, the great and wonderful 2020. We are already planning the staff party on new year’s eve. Not to celebrate the start of the new year so much as to enjoy the end of the last.

Hang in there, and as always, Happy Landlording!