Re: “Wildfires, smoke bring early end to Winthrop’s tourism season” [July 30, Local News]:

“This is a season ender.”

So said Winthrop Mayor Sally Ranzau to The Seattle Times in a quote seen ’round the West. National and international media have picked up on the fires, the closures, the poor air quality in the Methow Valley — all of that information is readily available.

The truth is, many Methow Valley businesses are still open. Many are doing our best to continue employing those who need work and to provide necessary services like food, lodging and child care. Many are still here, farming, gardening, working construction, living life and trying to get by.

And no one — not even meteorologists or the brave firefighters — knows exactly what this fire will do or how long the smoke will be with us.

Instead of highlighting the negatives and stating that even favorable weather might not help at this stage, and that the only cure for a fire this size is snow, likely in October, leadership should reflect on how their words directly affect Methow Valley businesses. Leadership should reinforce that the Methow Valley will be ready to receive tourists again just as soon as this fire dissipates — and that could be a lot sooner than October.

Jacob Young, owner/general manager, Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop