Good morning. It is Monday, November 15, 2021.
If you live in southern Oregon, you know all too well about the increase in wildfires.
Two summers ago I heard a local news outlet say something to the fact that we were entering "Wildfire Season."
That is a term that was unheard of 10 years ago. I was always under the impression that we had four seasons. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. But apparently, we now have a 5th season…Wildfire season.
I am not a fan!
The summer of 2021 was not bad. We had some smoke, but not as much as in summer’s past.
Do you remember the summer of 2002?
The Biscuit Fire was a massive wildfire that burned close to 500,000 acres. It happened right here in our backyard in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. It was the second-largest wildfire in modern history.
On July 13, 2002, a lightning storm ignited five fires in southwest Oregon’s rugged river-rich Kalmiopsis region. Four of the fires, plus massive U.S. Forest Service burnout operations (part of the agency’s fire suppression strategy), eventually became known as the Biscuit Fire. (Source: kalmiopsiswild.org)
The Biscuit Fire was not declared fully "controlled" until well into November, and it continued to burn within the containment perimeter until the winter rains. The Forest Service declared it officially extinguished on December 31. The fire had burned a historic fire lookout and fewer than a dozen buildings, largely cabins on mining claims or on small parcels of private land in the Kalmiopsis. No lives were lost due to the fire or to the suppression effort. (Source: oregonencyclopedia.org)
That summer seemed to set a standard that we are enduring to this day. Summers filled with choking smoke. More time spent indoors than out.
Concerts in the Park cancelled due to smoke. Horse racing postponed due to heavy smoke from wildfires. I remember the Grants Pass High School Marching Band being bussed to Umpqua Community College to practice due to wildfire smoke. Same with football practice.
Masks are now common, but I remember wearing a mask outdoors for the first time in my life in the summer of 2014 or 2015. Smoke so thick you could not see the nearby hills and your senses wanted to believe it to be fog.
But we are not alone.
Wildfires are now common, not only throughout the United States, but around the world.
From 2011 through 2020, there was an average of about 63,000 wildfires each year, affecting 7.5 million acres of land annually. (Source: agentblog.nationwide.com)
Are wildfires increasing around the world?
Unusually large wildfires ravaged Alaska and Indonesia in 2015. The following year, Canada, California, and Spain were devastated by uncontrolled flames. In 2017, massive fires devastated regions of Chile - and a deadly blaze in Portugal claimed dozens of lives. (Source: wordpress.com)
So, have wildfires increased globally, or does it just seem that way because we're tuned in more to bad news and social media?
“Science suggests that over the past few decades, the number of wildfires has indeed increased, especially in the western United States. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), every state in the western US has experienced an increase in the average annual number of large wildfires over past decades.
Extensive studies have found that large forest fires in the western US have been occurring nearly five times more often since the 1970s and 80s. Such fires are burning more than six times the land area as before and lasting almost five times longer.” (Source: dw.com)
But that is not all. Natural disasters around the world are increasing.
According to usgs.gov large floods have increased by about 100 percent while small floods have increased by about 200 percent.
According to israel365news.com “The number of earthquakes is increasing. In the first 65 days of 1921, exactly one century ago, only seven major quakes, magnitude 6 or higher were recorded globally according to the USGS Database. In the same period last year, a total of 24 major quakes, magnitude 6 or higher were recorded around the globe. In the first 65 days of this year, 42 major quakes, magnitude 6 or higher, have shaken the planet.”
Tsunamis, commonly called seismic sea waves--or incorrectly, tidal waves--have been responsible for over 500,000 fatalities throughout the world. (Source: ngdc.noaa.gov)
Over the past two decades, the number of blizzards in the U.S. has increased. A January 2017 study found distinct blizzard zones, based on 55 years of data. The number of blizzards in the U.S. has increased by almost a factor of four since the mid-20th century. (Source weather.com/science/weather)
They combined this information with climate data, and the results show that in the latter half of the 20th century, the number of avalanches has increased in frequency and intensity. “Avalanches are bigger, travel greater distances and are triggered earlier in the year. (Source: wilderness-society.org)
All over the world, we’re seeing increasing hailstorm activity, and it’s occurring in places and in amounts, that many are saying they’ve never seen before. In this article, we will include some mind-blowing videos of extreme hailstorms, where phenomenal amounts of large hail destroys cars, houses, and sends everybody running. (Source one should know dot com)
Large thunderstorms in the Southern Great Plains of the U.S. are some of the strongest on Earth. In recent years, these storms have increased in frequency and intensity. (Source: sciencedaily.com)
New research indicates that the number of tropical cyclones has been rising since 1980 in the North Atlantic and Central Pacific. (Source: noaa.gov)
What is going on you ask?
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Luke 21:25-26 NKJV
Gasettereview.com lists the top 10 natural disasters; of those I have listed the top 4 most recent ones:
1931 China Floods – 2.5 million lives lost 1970 Bhola Cyclone – 375,000 lives lost 1976 Tangshan Earthquake – 448,500 lives lost 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami – 280,000 lives lost
Friends, you need only look around you and see the signs. Jesus is coming soon. He promised He would be back. God gave us signs to look for. It is close!
Daniel was writing about end time prophesy when he penned the following in 12:1 “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book.”
I know many people scoff at the idea. Even good Christian’s do not believe in a literal return. But we are told that is exactly how He will return. Literal, visible to all, in the sky.
Acts 1:9-11 paints a vivid picture of Jesus leaving earth, headed for heaven.
“And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” – ESV
He will come in the same way as He left.
So, what do we do with all this information? Get ready!
“Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28 ESV
Jesus, our redeemer, is coming back. The signs are all around us. It is an exciting time! We are living on the final pages of this earth’s history.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,” Ephesians 1:7 ESV