August 18, 2017

Local fire districts ban recreational fires

From Deschutes County,

Recreational Fire & Campfire Ban to be Implemented Friday by Local Fire Districts

With increased fire activity and an influx of visitors coming to Central Oregon for the solar eclipse, the Central Oregon Fire Chiefs Association (COFCA) will be banning recreational fires/campfires on private lands within all the fire districts in the tri-county region in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson Counties.

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on August 11, campfires, including charcoal and pellet fires, will no longer be allowed. This is consistent with campfire restrictions on public lands. Portable cooking stoves or lanterns using liquefied or bottled fuel may be used in all areas.

The tri-county Fire Chiefs carefully consider the current fire situation, fuel moisture, and predicted weather before making the decision to ban open fires. With the heavy demand on our firefighting resources in addition to the hundreds of thousands of visitors projected to visit Central Oregon for the solar eclipse, every fire that’s prevented protects our communities and helps our firefighters remain available, rested, and safe.

“In an effort to reduce the risk of wildfires during the eclipse, the Fire Chiefs in the region feel banning recreational fires and campfires is the sensible thing to do”, said Matt Smith, Fire Chief, Crook County Fire & Rescue, and Chair of Central Oregon Fire Chiefs Association. 

Residents are strongly encouraged to contact their local fire protection agencies for additional burning information and regulations. All Central Oregon fire departments and rural fire districts will continue to monitor weather and fuel moisture conditions in their districts and may make modifications on a day-to-day basis. Please call your local outdoor burning information line for your current conditions. If conditions become dryer, individual agencies may choose to close local burning sooner. Fire agencies will monitor fuels and fire conditions throughout the summer and anticipate the opening of burn season again in late fall.

For a full list of local Fire Districts, visit COFCA’s webpage.

For more information, please contact Alison Green, Project Wildfire Program Coordinator at 541-419-1116 or 541-322-7129.

Battle continues on the Nena Springs fire

From Oregon State Fire Marshal,
Oregon State Fire Marshal / Submitted
NENA SPRINGS FIRE UPDATE AUG. 18 

Warm Springs OR -- At approximately 3:20pm Thursday, an ember from the Nena Springs Fire blew out of containment lines near Kishwalk. Driven by high winds, the fire began running in grass and brush. Two helicopters, handcrews and at least 10 engines responded in addition to 150 firefighters that were already assigned to the fire. 

Winds pushed the fire over Indian Head Canyon and through Charlie Canyon, then continued move a mile east past the Kah-Nee-Ta Resort. As was planned earlier in the week, in the event an evacuation notice was issued, visitors sheltered in place. Firefighters used Route 8 to burn from the road. This successfully removed grass from around the Resort and forced the fire to stay above and away from the area. While the Resort is still at a Level 3 evacuation, the immediate threat to it is gone. 

At approximately 10pm Thursday night, the fire jumped Hwy 3 at Fish Hatchery Grade. Firefighters' priority was to keep the fire from crossing the Warm Springs River and to prevent it from burning structures. As of midnight Thursday, these objectives had been met. 

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal Red Team, commanded by Ian Yocum, was mobilized late Thursday night. Two task forces of engines from Marion and Multnomah Counties began working with the existing organization around midnight. Yamhill and Washington Counties engines and personnel arrived this morning. These task forces bring with them a total of 79 firefighters, 19 engines and four water tenders to assist with protecting structures and building upon the work firefighters have already completed. 

The fire has grown an estimated 6,000 acres bringing the total acres to approximately 46,000. A flight will occur this morning to get a more accurate account of the fire's size. It is 40% contained. 

Evacuation Notices: The Kah-Nee-Ta Resort & Spa received a Level 3 evacuation notice Thursday evening. As was planned this week, in the event of a wildfire, visitors will remain in place. Charley Canyon, Webster Flat Road, South Junction, Culpus Bridge, and Wolf Point Subdivision are now at a Level 3 Evacuation Notice. 

Evacuation Center: The Red Cross established an evacuation center at the Warm Springs Community Center for residents that have been evacuated. 

Road Closures: Hwy 3 to School Flats; Hwy 8 to Ka-Nee-Ta Village; Webster Flat Road, and Culpus Bridge are closed to all traffic.

State police seek assistance in poaching case

From Oregon State Police 
Oregon State Police / Submitted 
OREGON STATE POLICE SEEKS PUBLIC ASSISTANCE IN DOUGLAS COUNTY POUCHING CASE 
The Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division is asking for the public's help to identify the person(s) responsible for the unlawful killing of a cow elk in Douglas County. 

On the morning of August 12th, 2017, OSP was notified of a dead cow elk southeast of the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area. The animal was located near the intersection of Deans Creek Road and Johanneson Creek Road. An OSP Fish and Wildlife Trooper responded and found the dead elk in an open field approximately 75 feet from Deans Creek Road. The animal had been shot and the majority of it was left to waste. Investigation revealed the elk was most likely shot on or around Friday, August 12th, 2017 during the late evening hours. 

A reward of up to $500 is offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case. The reward is comprised of $500 from the Oregon Hunters Association Turn-In-Poacher program. 

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact OSP Trooper Jay Evans through the Turn in Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888 or 541-900-0447. (Case # SP17288134) (Email - JEvans@osp.state.or.us). Information may be kept anonymous. 

Report Wildlife and Habitat Law Violators 

Poaching wildlife and damaging habitats affects present and future generations of wildlife, impacts communities and the economy, and creates enforcement challenges. 

The Turn-In-Poachers (TIP) reward is paid for information leading to the arrest/conviction of person(s) for the illegal possession, killing, taking, and/or waste of deer, elk, antelope, bear, cougar, wolf, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose, furbearers and/or game birds. 

TIP rewards can also be given for the illegal taking, netting, snagging, and/or dynamiting of salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and/or large numbers of any fish listed in Oregon statute as a game fish. 

In addition, a reward may be issued for information that results in an arrest/conviction of a person who has illegally obtained Oregon hunting/angling license or tags. People who "work" the system and falsely apply for resident licenses and/or tags are not legally hunting and/or angling and are considered poachers. 

Increasing damage to wildlife habitat by off-road vehicles prompted the Oregon Hunters 

Association (OHA) in 2009 to create the Natural Resources Reward Program that offers a $300 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone causing natural resources damage by the illegal use of motorized vehicles and is similar to its highly successful TIP program. 

* $1,000 Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat and Moose 

* $500 Elk, Deer and Antelope 

* $300 Bear, Cougar and Wolf 

* $300 Habitat Destruction 

* $100 Game Fish and Shellfish 

* $100 Upland Birds and Waterfowl 

* $100 Furbearers 

How to Report a Wildlife and/or Habitat Law Violation or Suspicious Activity: 

TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 (24/7) 

TIP E-Mail: TIP@state.or.us (Monitored M-F 8:00AM - 5:00PM) 

(Please use the TIP Hotline for Weekend and Evening Reporting)

August 17, 2017

Eclipse visitors, residents asked to be cautious of fire danger

From Central Oregon Fire Management:

The Milli Fire has obscured much of the view of the Three Sisters.
COIDC MORNING Update, August 17

Redmond, OR – As visitation into the central Oregon area is increasing daily, we are asking visitors and residents to use extra caution, follow fire bans, and be prepared during this time leading up to the eclipse. August is always fire season in central Oregon, but with such a large influx of visitors, the potential for human-caused wildfires is increased. Additionally, there are several closures of public lands due to fires in the area as well as the increased visitation of the eclipse, so please “Know Before You Go”, be patient, and stay safe.

Milli Fire – Located in the Three Sisters Wilderness, partially burning in the 2006 Black Crater Fire scar. The fire is currently six miles west of Sisters, with the southeastern edge of the fire being the most active. The fire is currently estimated at 3,500 acres and 0% contained. There are 206 personnel assigned to the fire including three 5-person crews, six IA crews, seven helicopters, four dozers, four masticators, and a variety of overhead and support resources. 

Level One and Level Two evacuation notifications are in place for the following areas:
Level One (Ready) – Pre-evacuation notice for all areas between Hwy 242 and Hwy 20 from the Cold Springs Campground to the city of Sisters, which include the Tollgate Subdivision. This does NOT include the city of Sisters or Black Butte Ranch.

Level Two (Set) – Be “set” to evacuate. All areas south of Hwy 242 (McKenzie Hwy) and west of Pole Creek Ditch (1-1.5 miles west of and parallel to FS Road 15/Three Creeks Rd.). This area includes the Crossroads Subdivision and homes off of Edgington Rd and Remuda Rd. 

Structure protection assessments are ongoing in the areas under these evacuation notices. 

There is a public meeting in Sisters tonight at 6:00 P.M. to inform residents and visitors on the current status of the Milli Fire and strategies for managing the fire. Fire managers and emergency personnel will also be available to provide information on the evacuation notifications and answer any questions. The public meeting will be held at the Sisters High School (NEW LOCATION) at 1700 McKinney Butte Rd, Sisters, OR 97759

The Willamette and Deschutes National Forests have implemented a closure order for a large portion of the Three Sisters Wilderness. The Willamette National Forest has closed all trails south of Highway 242 into the Three Sisters Wilderness on the Willamette National Forest with the exception of Proxy Falls, which remains open. Also closed is the Obsidian Trailhead and Obsidian Limited Entry Area.

The area closure also includes Deschutes National Forest managed lands within the Three Sisters Wilderness that are threatened by fire activity. The northern closure area border includes trails south of Highway 242 and west of Forest Road 1018 and east of the Three Sisters Wilderness Boundary on the Willamette National Forest down to approximately Scott’s Pass Trail, which is also included in the closure. In addition, the closure area contains trails north of Cascade Lakes Highway, west of the South Sisters Climber Trail and includes all of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from Elk Lake north to the PCT Trailhead near Lava Camp Lake Campground. For up-to-date information on closures on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and trail reroute options, visit https://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/trail-conditions-and-closures/. 

While the closure includes all trails east of the PCT from Elk Lake to the South Sisters Climber Trail, the South Sisters Climber Trail and Elk Lake Trail remain open. Popular areas like Wickiup Plains and Sisters Mirror Lake are closed.

• Recreationists should be aware of these additional trail closures: Black Crater Trail #4058, Millican Crater Trail #4066, Scott Pass Trail #4068, North Matthieu Lake Trail #4062, Trout Creek Tie Trail #4067, Millican Crater Trailhead, Scott Pass Trailhead, A portion of the Green Lakes Trail #17 is closed from Pole Creek Trail #4072 to Scott Pass Trail #4068, Moraine Lake Trail from South Sister Climber Trail to Leconte Crater Trail, Leconte Crater Trail, Devils Lake Trail, Mirror Lakes Trail, Elk-Devils Trail, and Horse Lake Trail.

• Green Lakes Trail #17 from the Cascade Lakes Highway to the Pole Creek Trail #4072 is OPEN. 

There is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) in place over the fire. Information on the TFR can be found at http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_7_1668.html. This TFR is in place for all aircraft, including unmanned aerial systems (UAS). 

Whychus Fire – Located about eight miles northeast of Sisters, is currently 2030 acres and 90% contained. 

Belknap Fire – Located in the Mill Creek Wilderness on the Ochoco National Forest, the Belknap Fire is estimated at 125 acres and 30% contained. There are 113 personnel assigned to the fire including three crews, three engines, and three dozers. Crews will continue working to reinforce the retardant line around the fire by constructing hand line using extra precautions due to hazard trees from the 2000 Hash Rock Fire. 

A trail closure has been put in place by the Ochoco National Forest for trails within the Mill Creek Wilderness. All hiking trails within Mill Creek Wilderness are temporarily closed to the public including Twin Pillars Trail #832; Wildcat Trail #833; and Belknap Trail #833A. 

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire. Information on the TFR can be found at http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_7_9749.html. This TFR is in place for all aircraft, including unmanned aerial systems (UAS). 

For more information, follow us at http://centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter at @CentralORFire
For Central Oregon Fire Information hotline, please call 541-316-7711. 

August 16, 2017

Travel advisory during #OReclipse

From ODOT, 
NASA / Submitted photo
ODOT urges travelers to not pop in and out of #OReclipse

It’s not a game day: Treat the 3-hour eclipse like a 3-DAY event


Experts say up to one million people may enter the path of totality across Oregon to view the Aug. 21 eclipse. Travelers who treat this once-in-a-generation event like a college football game day—arriving just beforehand and leaving immediately afterwards—might be in for some serious interstellar shock. There could be thousands—or tens of thousands—of other travelers doing the same thing.

Please don’t do that. Build breathing space into your travel plans.

Visit www.TripCheck.com to view about 400 highway cameras and check out your planned travel route in real time. Visithttp://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Pages/Eclipse.aspx for #OReclipse travel tips.

Arrive early: Don’t be late for your very important date.Stay put: Once you arrive, help other travelers by staying off the road.Leave late: ODOT predicts skyrocketing congestion immediately after the eclipse when many travelers head home. Beat the congestion somewhere cool and comfortable.This is not a game day: Treat this 3-hour event like a 3-DAY event.

ODOT will manage the state highway system as much as possible to try to accommodate the increased number of travelers. Incident response crews will park at strategic locations along many highways to help people and move vehicles causing backups. ODOT does not plan to close any state highway. But sheer traffic volume could still overwhelm the system.

You can help. Plan your journey to avoid the busiest expected periods of traffic (Sunday and Monday). If you’re on the road when the eclipse takes place, play it safe! Don’t stop on the highway or shoulder to view the eclipse. Don’t block traffic or walk into travel lanes. If another person’s eyes are on the sky, they won’t see you. And don’t wear your eclipse glasses while driving!

Plan to have a good time in Oregon viewing the eclipse. Plan ahead, so you will.

August 15, 2017

Fire leads to closure in Three Sisters Wilderness

From Central Oregon Fire Information:

COIDC MORNING Update, August 15
Redmond, OR – No new smoke reports have come into the Central Oregon Dispatch this morning, although with clear skies and continued drying conditions, crews are ready to respond to any new reports that come in. 

Milli Fire – Located in the Three Sisters Wilderness, the Milli Fire is estimated at 150 acres and 2% contained. There are currently 141 personnel on the fire including three type 2 crews, 5 IA crews, 3 dozers, 2 masticators, and a variety of overhead resources.   The Milli Fire is currently 8 miles west of Sisters and about one and a half miles southwest of Black Crater Lake. Moderate fire activity was observed yesterday and is expected again today with continued fire spread to the east and northeast.  Yesterday, crews worked to establish containment line in the wilderness using minimum impact suppression tactics and outside the wilderness, equipment was utilized to improve Forest Service roads and create new containment lines in anticipation of fire growth outside of the wilderness to the east. Today, direct and indirect suppression tactics will be utilized, while continuing Forest Service road improvement and fire line construction outside of the wilderness boundary. The fire is partially burning in an old fire scar with significant stands of dead timber caused by the Black Crater Lake Fire.

The Willamette and Deschutes National Forests have implemented a closure order for a large portion of the Three Sisters Wilderness beginning today. The Willamette National Forest will close all trails south of Highway 242 into the Three Sisters Wilderness on the Willamette National Forest with the exception of Proxy Falls, which remains open.   Also closed is the Obsidian Trailhead and Obsidian Limited Entry Area.

The area closure also includes Deschutes National Forest managed lands within the Three Sisters Wilderness that are threatened by fire activity. The northern closure area border includes trails south of Highway 242 and west of Forest Road 1018 and east of the Three Sisters Wilderness Boundary on the Willamette National Forest down to approximately Scott’s Pass Trail, which is also included in the closure. In addition, the closure area contains trails north of Cascade Lakes Highway, west of the South Sisters Climber Trail and includes all of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from Elk Lake north to the PCT Trailhead near Lava Camp Lake Campground. For up-to-date information on closures on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and trail reroute options, visit https://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/trail-conditions-and-closures/

While the closure includes all trails east of the PCT from Elk Lake to the South Sisters Climber Trail, the South Sisters Climber Trail and Elk Lake Trail remain open. Popular areas like Wickiup Plains and Sisters Mirror Lake are closed.
  • Recreationists should be aware of these additional trail closures: Black Crater Trail #4058, Millican Crater Trail #4066, Scott Pass Trail #4068, North Matthieu Lake Trail #4062, Trout Creek Tie Trail #4067, Millican Crater Trailhead, Scott Pass Trailhead, A portion of the Green Lakes Trail #17 is closed from Pole Creek Trail #4072 to Scott Pass Trail #4068, Moraine Lake Trail from South Sister Climber Trail to Leconte Crater Trail, Leconte Crater Trail, Devils Lake Trail, Mirror Lakes Trail, Elk-Devils Trail, and Horse Lake Trail.
  • Green Lakes Trail #17 from the Cascade Lakes Highway to the Pole Creek Trail #4072 is OPEN.  

Whychus Fire – Located about either miles northeast of Sisters, is currently 2030 acres and 90% contained. 

Belknap Fire – Located in the Mill Creek Wilderness on the Ochoco National Forest, the Belknap Fire is estimated at 120 acres and 0% contained. Aerial resources, smokejumpers, and hand crews will continue working on direct suppression of this fire today. Crews are taking extra precaution from entering the area due to significant hazard trees from previous fires. A trail closure has been put in place by the Ochoco National Forest for trails within the Mill Creek Wilderness.  All hiking trails within Mill Creek Wilderness are temporarily closed to the public as fire crews work to suppress this fire.  The following trails are now closed to the public for one month, beginning August 14th, from today or until rescinded: Twin Pillars Trail #832; Wildcat Trail #833; and Belknap Trail #833A.

For more information, follow us at http://centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter at @CentralORFire

For Central Oregon Fire Information Fire hotline, please call 541-316-7711.

August 14, 2017

Redmond canal segment named to National Register of Historic Places

From Oregon Parks and Recreation:

Pilot Butte Canal (courtesy photo)
The Pilot Butte Canal: Downtown Redmond Segment Historic District in Redmond, Deschutes County, Oregon is among Oregon's latest entries in the National Register of Historic Places. It is listed under the Carey and Reclamation Acts Irrigation Projects in Oregon 1901-1978 Multiple Property Documentation. 

The Pilot Butte Canal is the backbone of one of the two irrigation systems that form what is known as the Central Oregon Project in the Upper Deschutes River basin. The Central Oregon Project was a prominent example of an irrigation project resulting from the provisions of the Carey Desert Land Act (Carey Act), and one that had a tremendous impact on the formation and development of central Oregon. As a principal element of the Central Oregon Project, the Pilot Butte Canal is closely associated with early homesteading and settlement efforts in the Upper Deschutes River basin, and the use of irrigation as a means to improve agricultural production, overcome harsh environmental conditions, and provide a sustainable livelihood with limited resources in the region. Throughout its history the Pilot Butte Canal provided water for agricultural use in Deschutes County, leading to the founding, initial development, and continued growth of the cities of Bend, Redmond, and other communities. The Pilot Butte Canal: Downtown Redmond Segment Historic District is approximately 6,780 feet long, from approximately NW Dogwood Street at the south, where the open canal emerges from underground pipe, to approximately NW Quince Avenue at the north, where it returns to pipe. This portion of the canal is directly associated with the founding of Redmond, which was laid out along it, adjacent to the site of the Frank T. and Josephine Redmond homestead. 

Oregon's State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation recommended the canal segment's nomination in their February 2017 meeting. It is one of 41 historic properties in Deschutes County that are now listed in the National Register, which is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. 

More information about the National Register and recent Oregon lists is online at www.oregonheritage.org (click on "National Register" at left of page).

Structure Fire at Crooked River Ranch

From Crooked River Ranch Fire and Rescue, 
Crooked River Ranch fire and Rescue / Submitted photo
Type of incident: Structure Fire
Address of incident: 5724 SW Shad Road, Crooked River Ranch, OR
Incident date: August 12th, 2017 Alarm Time: 10:52 PM
Description of occupancy: Residential, double wide mobile home
Owner: Raymond and Terri Bellm

Circumstances found on arrival, actions taken: Crooked River Ranch Fire & Rescue was dispatched to the above address for multiple reports of a reported fully involved structure on fire. Initial arriving crews found the home fully engulfed in flames and fire spreading to nearby trees and grass. An energized power line was also found on the ground which Pacific Power responded for and disconnected. A water shuttle was setup to supply water for firefighting efforts. The fire was contained to the structure of origin, the nearby trees, and grass. Crews remained on scene until approximately 2:30 AM extinguishing the fire and performing overhaul.

Injuries, rescues and other information of interest: The home was reported as unoccupied which was later confirmed to be the case. The owners used it as a rental property and it did not have a tenant at the time of the fire.

Responding Apparatus: 4 - Engines, 3 – Tenders, 0 - Trucks, 1 - Medics, 1 – Support
Responding Personnel: 5 – Career, 11 – Volunteers
Mutual aid assistance by: Redmond Fire & Rescue, Cloverdale Fire District, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and Pacific Power.

Estimated loss of building and contents: The structure and contents were a total loss. Several trees that were damaged by fire were also felled for safety concerns.

Probable fire cause: Under investigation at this time.
Crooked River Ranch fire and Rescue / Submitted photo

Redmond Brewfest

Read more about the Brewfest in the Aug. 16 Spokesman!

Submitted graphic / Redmond Brewfest
www.redmondbrewfest.com

August 13, 2017

Whychus fire now estimated at 1,539 acres

From Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center:

Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
Redmond, OR – Firefighters worked through the night on several fires across Central Oregon.
Many areas throughout Central Oregon received rainfall this morning.  Two remote weather stations located on public lands reported from 0.2 – 0.5 inches of rain; all other weather stations did not receive enough measurable rainfall to record.  The cold front that brought rain showers will pass through the area by the end of the day, bringing cooler temperatures and gusty winds out of the west.

Firefighters worked through the night on the Whychus fire, about 8 miles northeast of Sisters, Ore. This fire had been lined by dozers at 34 acres but yesterday’s gusty winds pushed embers over fire lines and the fire is now 1,539 acres. Firefighters today will be assisted by air tankers, multiple engines and dozers to continue constructing fire line today. A Level 2 evacuation notice remains in place for residents of Lower Bridge Road north of Holmes Road. A Type 3 incident management team took command of the fire yesterday afternoon.

A Type 3 incident management team has assumed command of the Milli Fire, burning 8 miles west of Sisters, about one and a half miles west of Black Crater Lake. The fire is partially burning in green timber, and partially burning in the 2006 Black Crater Lake Fire scar. Firefighters will work together with heavy equipment to begin fireline construction today. The fire is now estimated at 80 acres and several temporary closures of adjacent trails, trailheads and roads remain in place today:
·         Forest Road 1018 is closed from Highway 242 to Forest Road 15.
·         Forest Road 1520 is closed from Forest Road 1018 to Forest Road 15. 
·         The Millican Crater Trailheads located at Lava Camp Lake and Forest Road 1024 are closed. 
·         The Scott Pass Trailhead located on Forest Road 1026 is closed.  Black Crater Trailhead located off Highway 242 is closed. 
·         Whispering Pine campground located at the junction of Forest Road 1018 and 1520 is closed.

The Yucca fire, between the Three Rivers subdivision and Lake Billy Chinook, is 100% lined and contained as of this morning. It is 25 acres.

The Pine Stub fire, northeast of Post, is 100% lined and 148 acres.  Rain was received over the area this morning and crews will continue mopping up today on this fire.

A new start has been reported in the Three Sisters Wilderness in the Deschutes National Forest.  Smoke jumpers are responding to this new report this morning.

Resources are again responding to several fires that were reported Saturday around the area including fires in the Three Sister Roadless Area, South Bachelor Roadless Area, and Bench Mark Butte. 

Additionally, the fire reported yesterday south of Little Cultus Creek will have engines on it again today as well as the fire west of Wickiup Reservoir. 

The Belknap fire in the Mill Creek Wilderness on the Ochoco National Forest is 30 acres and burning in steep terrain in an area with abundant hazardous trees. Aerial drops on the fire yesterday and rain this morning, may have moderated fire behavior enough to allow resources to get into the area.

A fire reported last night 10 miles NE of Shaniko is estimated at 3870 acres and is burning in light, grass fuels.  This fire will remain in monitor status. 

For more information, follow us at http://centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter at @CentralORFire

For Central Oregon Fire Information Fire hotline, please call 541-316-7711 or keep up-to-date on fire activity by following us on Twitter at @CentralORFire.

August 12, 2017

Lower Bridge Road evacuation notice part of busy fire day

From the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center:

Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
Redmond, Ore. – Firefighters had another busy day today working on lightning starts across Central Oregon that started as weather systems passed through last night and the night before. This afternoon’s warm, windy weather led to increased fire growth on many fires and put more smoke in the sky above Central Oregon communities.

Most notable was a spot fire produced by the Whychus fire, about 8 miles northeast of Sisters, Ore. The Whychus fire had been completely lined by dozer the day before at 34 acres. Today’s gusty winds carried embers across the containment lines and created a fire that ran around two and a half miles to the east. Jefferson and Deschutes County authorities issued first level one then level two evacuation notices this afternoon for the residents of Southwest Lower Bridge Road. Two large air tankers, a helicopter, and multiple engines and dozers are engaged in suppression on the spot fire this evening.

A lightning start 8 miles west of Sisters, and about one and half miles west of Black Crater Lake, got active this afternoon and grew to an estimated 70 acres by late in the day. The fire is moving around in dead and down fuels within the 2006 Black Crater Lake fire scar. The fire activity prompted the Deschutes National Forest to issue temporary closures on adjacent trails to provide for public safety. A Type 3 incident management team will begin working on the fire tomorrow.

Firefighting efforts continued today on a new fire 8 miles west of Grass Valley on BLM land near the Deschutes River. Aerial resources delivered multiple retardant drops to this fire now estimated at 500 acres about one mile west of Macks Canyon campground. A new start on BLM land about 6 miles northwest of Clarno is estimated at 2,000 acres, burning in grass and brushy fuels. Multiple resources were responding this afternoon.

Aerial resources also dropped retardant on the Belknap fire burning within Mill Creek Wilderness on the Ochoco National Forest. That fire was resized at 30 acres. And several engines worked to suppress a 19-acre fire about 17 miles east of Prineville today, just south of Highway 26. The Pine Stub fire, burning about 4 miles northeast of Post, was resized at 148 acres. Multiple resources continued strengthening line around the fire this afternoon.

Central Oregon is not expected to receive the same lightning activity tonight as it has for the last two nights. The National Weather Service is reporting that the same weather systems that delivered lightning across Central Oregon the last two nights are now moving further into eastern and northeastern Oregon. Continued warm and windy conditions tomorrow mean fire behavior will likely remain active on many fires in this area.

For more information, follow us at http://centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter at @CentralORFire

August 11, 2017

TripCheck website to show map of how fast eclipse traffic moving across Oregon

From the Oregon Department of Transportation:

Northbound traffic gets congested along U.S. Highway 97 as vehicles try to take the Yew Avenue exit for an event at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond on Saturday, June 10, 2017. Transportation officials worry about congestion on state highways during and after the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. (Ryan Brennecke/Bulletin photo)
Data shows how traffic is flowing around the state – just in time for the eclipse

SALEM – In an update to Oregon’s traffic and road conditions website, TripCheck, motorists can now see how fast (or slow) traffic is moving on nearly all roads across Oregon. Previously, this feature was only available in the Portland metro area and was called the Portland Speed Map. Now, a new statewide layer of data is using near real-time traffic congestion information to reflect movement on roadways throughout Oregon. ODOT has partnered with Esri/ HERE to provide the traffic data.
When you visit TripCheck.com, simply zoom in to see the traffic flow on the various roads. Traffic is displayed as a percentage of free-flow speeds (frequently the speed limit or more practically, how fast cars tend to travel when unencumbered by other vehicles). The streets are color-coded as follows:
  • Green (fast): 85 - 100% of free-flow speeds
  • Yellow (moderate): 65 - 85%
  • Orange (slow): 45 - 65%
  • Red (stop and go): 0 - 45%
When you are on the website, to see what the colors mean, click on the Live Traffic drop down menu on the left. There, you’ll also see another significant enhancement to TripCheck: the interactive map legend. The map layer controls are now integrated with the legend, simplifying the layout and providing a cleaner mobile experience. You can click on layers such as Waze Traffic to add or remove information.
TripCheck will receive another update later this year with a freshened interface for searching text reports. This update will allow users to create custom queries to search for incidents, weather, cameras and more based on their criteria.

More than 20 fires start after Thursday evening lightning

From the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center:

The Nena Springs fire burns along Highway 3 near Simnasho on the Warm Springs Reservation on Thursday, August 10, 2017. (Joe Kline/Bulletin photo)
Redmond, Ore. – Fire crews are responding to more than 20 new lightning starts across Central Oregon as a result of a weather system that moved through the area yesterday evening.
The largest start on federally-managed ground is the Whychus fire, located about 8 miles northeast of Sisters on Deschutes National Forest. The fire is mapped at 34.5 acres, burning in brush and timber fuels near the intersection of Forest Roads 63 and 6360.
Crews worked diligently throughout the night and have completely surrounded the fire with both hand and dozer line. Firefighters remain on scene today to secure the perimeter and begin mopping up.
Federal crews are also assisting with a new start on private ground just south of Antelope. The fire is estimated at 10,000 acres, burning in grassy fuels about 10 miles southwest of Clarno.
Crews are also assisting under a mutual aid agreement with a new wildfire just east of Bend near the city airport. That fire was estimated at 18 acres this morning.
  Fire danger throughout Central Oregon remains EXTREME due to very dry fuel conditions and extremely high temperatures. Weather predictions today call for red   flag conditions to include continued high temperatures and strong winds associated with thunderstorms.

New fire restrictions are in effect today for all Forest Service and BLM lands across Central Oregon, to include a complete campfire ban and an Industrial Fire Precaution Level IV.

For continued fire information, follow http://centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com/ or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CentralORFire

August 9, 2017

Redmond back-to-school information released

From the Redmond School District:


In anticipation of the 2017-2018 school year, Redmond School District has compiled a list of helpful forms, resources and school supply lists for grades K-12.

“We like to get back-to-school information to parents as soon as possible to allow them to plan, budget and prepare their kids for success in the upcoming year,” Superintendent Mike McIntosh said. “We’ve put a lot of information online to streamline the process for parents, but if they have any questions they shouldn’t hesitate to contact us.”

To access back-to-school information for the 2017-2018 school year, visit: tiny.cc/2017-18_BackToSchool.

For any questions, individual school contact information can be found at: redmond.k12.or.us/contact.  

Check out the Aug. 9 Spokesman!

The new Cook Crossing apartments open, residents get a look at Centennial Park plans and a historic statue visits Redmond. It's all in this week's Spokesman, available today at locations including Shari's, Country Nook and Logan's Market.

August 8, 2017

Oregon National Guard assists in wildfire suppression

From Oregon Military Department, 
Oregon Army National Guard Spc. Ryan Dowell, a crew chief with 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment, connects wiring for a Bambi Bucket valve through a hatch opening inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter in support of firefighting efforts at the Whitewater Fire at a helibase near the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area on August 5, 2017. Dowell operated the valve beneath the bucket which allows for a quick fill and precise dump pattern while supporting ground crews. (Photo by Capt. Leslie Reed, Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs)

OREGON ARMY NATIONAL GUARD ASSISTS WILDFIRE SUPPRESSION EFFORTS

SALEM, Oregon - The Oregon Army National Guard continues to support the Oregon Department of Forestry with firefighting efforts at the Whitewater Fire in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area east of Detroit, Oregon. 


Approximately 25 Oregon National Guard personnel and two CH-47 Chinook helicopters (equipped with nearly 2,000-gallon capacity water buckets), with 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment, based in Pendleton, Oregon, are assisting with wildfire suppression efforts. The Oregon National Guard was requested to assist following Governor Kate Brown's declaration of a state of emergency.

An Oregon Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopter, with 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment, dips a 2,000-gallon capacity Bambi Bucket into the water during firefighting efforts at the Whitewater Fire in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area on August 5, 2017. Oregon Governor Kate Brown's state of emergency order on August 2, allowed the Oregon National Guard to deploy requested assets in support of the Oregon Department of Forestry's firefighting efforts. Two Chinook helicopters are currently assigned to the fire. (Photo by Capt. Leslie Reed, Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs)

Oregon Army National Guard Spc. Ryan Dowell, a crew chief with 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment, monitors a Bambi Bucket through a hatch opening from inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter over the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area near Central Oregon on August 5, 2017. Dowell operated the valve beneath the bucket which allows for a quick fill and precise dump pattern while supporting the Whitewater Fire's ground crews. (Photo by Capt. Leslie Reed, Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs) 

Oregon Army National Guard Sgt. Jeremy Maddox, a flight engineer with 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment, surveys a dip point from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter over the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area on August 5, 2017, near Central Oregon. Oregon National Guardsmen from Pendleton were called into action to support firefighting efforts at the Whitewater Fire following Governor Kate Brown's state of emergency on August 2. The declaration authorizes the Oregon National Guard to deploy requested assets in support of the Oregon Department of Forestry. (Photo by Capt. Leslie Reed, Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs) 

An Oregon Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopter, with 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment, carries a 2,000-gallon capacity Bambi Bucket above the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area in support of firefighting efforts at the Whitewater Fire on August 5, 2017. The Oregon National Guard was called upon following Governor Kate Brown's emergency order on August 2. Approximately 25 personnel and two Chinook helicopters are currently assigned to assist Oregon Department of Forestry with the fire. (Photo by Capt. Leslie Reed, Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs) 

An Oregon Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopter, with 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment, dumps a 2,000-gallon capacity Bambi Bucket amid smoke over the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area in support of firefighting efforts at the Whitewater Fire on August 5, 2017. The Oregon National Guard was called upon following Governor Kate Brown's emergency order on August 2. Approximately 25 personnel and two Chinook helicopters are currently assigned to assist Oregon Department of Forestry with the fire. (Photo by Capt. Leslie Reed, Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs)

August 5, 2017

Redmond Mayor Endicott describes wedding with Sherwood mayor

From Redmond Mayor George Endicott:

Redmond Mayor George Endicott and Sherwood Mayor Krisanna Clark / courtesy George Endicott
Two Mayors Get Married

Something unique happened at the Oregon Mayors Association Conference this year on July 29th.  After the president closed the conference, he kept his promise to deliver a surprise event that was rumored to be a celebration of his parents’ 74th wedding anniversary.  Following that came the true shocker, a surprise wedding ceremony between Mayor Krisanna Clark and Mayor George Endicott, both widowed by spouses passing from cancer.  

Having met at the same conference 2 years prior, and introduced by the mayor of Pendleton they thought it fitting to marry where they met in the presence of their friends and colleagues.  Making it a surprise was just the icing on the cake.

Keeping the pending marriage a secret was truly a monumental task, but well worth the effort.  Serving as officiant was the one who introduced them, Mayor Phillip Houk – Pendleton. Matron of Honor was Senator Betsy Johnson – Senate District 16, and Best Man was Mayor Denny Doyle – Beaverton.

After closing the conference, Mayor George Endicott, this year’s president of the Oregon Mayors Association, provided the background that led to the suspicious absence of Mayor Krisanna Clark at the dinner banquet.  After announcing the true purpose of the surprise event which was a wedding and not an anniversary celebration, the back door to the conference room opened and the bride stepped out.  The wedding march began and chaos ensued.  The bride was escorted down the aisle by her two teenaged children Alaina and Declan.  To hear it told by the guests it was the best….conference….ever.

The wedding ending as untraditionally as it began with the officiant declaring, “You may kiss the mayor.”


After the excitement of the wedding celebration and honeymoon conclude, it will be back to business as usual for these two Oregon mayors serving their two respective communities.  The couple will be holding wedding receptions September 8 in Sherwood and September 23 in Redmond.