Ian RuderSince joining the New Mobility team almost 10 years ago, I’ve written, edited and as­signed numerous stories about emergency preparedness and dealing with disasters. But none of that prepared me for rolling around my street and seeing the valley to the south­west of my house glowing with flame.

I’ve looked out over that same western Oregon horizon thousands of times on my daily rolls around my neighborhood. I’ve seen stunning sunsets, meteor showers, smog, snow and even countless small fires, but this was different. This wasn’t a wisp of smoke or a house fire burning in the distance; it was a massive fire — the kind of glowing hot spot you see on the news or CGI-e