TODAY’s News !  by  FITZ Maurice


The landscape as seen through the fire’s glow

Editor. Note: Artist Fitz Maurice has set out to paint live at all of the US National Parks. She will be submitting her stories from the road to StuNewsLaguna from time to time. 

 Fitz Maurice shares stories from the Northwest where the Wolverine Fire is licking her heels

Story and photos by FITZ MAURICE
Smoke in all the skies – in my eyes – tears for the lives – killing men and trees – pray for rain please. Ran from the 100-degree heat – in every state – in the Northwest. Ran to Washington – looking for cooler days. Ran all the way up here pulling the trailer and now – running from the fires.
From the heat into the fire!
I’m now in Leavenworth, Washington and the Wolverine Fire is licking my heels. It’s only 14 miles away and all are poised to flee if the wind blows south. If you look you will see that there are fires burning actively in the states of Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho and California.
All the skies are an eerie burnt orange and it is nasty to breathe in the smoke filled with chemicals. People speak in low voices – worried for their families’ safety and for their homes. Three brave fire fighters have died. So far, 1100 square miles of land, trees and homes have been devoured by the fires in Washington State alone.
Why don’t I leave? Look at the map of fires – it’s shocking how many there are in all the states around me.  Now the army from Fort Lewis is here along with thousands of courageous volunteers – all banding together to conquer.
These fires are mostly flaring up due to extremely dry land and foliage, which bursts into combustion fires or are easily ignited by lightning strikes. Normally there is more rain and snow all year round up here that keeps everything moist, but as we all know there has not been enough precipitation due to pollution and global warming. For example, last winter Mount Rainier had the least amount of precipitation in all of recorded history!
What is really upsetting me is seeing how tragically low the rivers and lakes are, the glaciers are melting into waterfalls, and how massive landscapes of trees are being destroyed by fires and mans continued massacre of them through the lumber industry. In other words, us/we are collectively destroying the planet we were graciously given.
The source of all life – water – is the greatest gift on earth, and we have used it all up like gluttons. What will you do when the water doesn’t come out of your faucet?
God will forgive us before nature does!
What you can do now to help save water and trees: 
Monitor your own behavior each day – make yourself accountable for what you use!
Teach your children to use less.
Share with friends how you found ways to save water and paper.
Get in your shower once you turn on the water!
Don’t flush your toilet unless necessary – not for every little tissue – it uses 5 gallons each flush!
Water gardens in early morning or late afternoon – save water from evaporating in the mid-day hot sun.
Use less paper – reuse other side of bad copies, and stop printing too many copies every day!
Use less – paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, etc. Use real napkins.
Plant trees !
What other ways can you think of to use less and save our Mother Earth?


FITZ Maurice has been on a quest to paint ‘live’ in every National Park in America. Now totally committed to help promote and protect the Parks, the artist is traveling by truck and trailer to each park. Hiking, kayaking and horseback riding in search of the ultimate scene, and finally setting up with portable easel and oil paints, FITZ sets out to capture in paint the wonders that make each National Park a treasure to Americans and all the people of the world.