By Lars Larson,
NW and national radio host
Hundreds of homeless camps spread out across the big cities of the Pacific Northwest may be bad news for most…but they means full employment for the Fire Departments of Portland and Seattle.
Among real homes, house fires have declined steadily for the last forty years thanks to enforcement of building codes and better materials.
But the homeless camps that sprouted by the hundreds, especially in the last few years, they are a different matter.
Drug addicts living in tents have been a growth industry for Fire Departments,
Willamette week reports that so-called “homeless related” blazes make up more than 40 percent of all the fires in Portlandia.
To put that in context, just a few thousand concrete campers create four out of ten life threatening fires in a metro area of more than two million.
Clearly, it gets worse in the chilly winter months.
Pallet wood shacks and fabric tents…combined with illegal drug-smoking occupants plus propane tanks make for life-threatening situations.
And as long as cities continue to tolerate this nonsense…we will see lives put at risk.
But at least for the Fire Departments, it’s a new growth industry.