Central Oregon Wildfire Update

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Aug 212018

Archive photo

[Condon, Oregon] NW Team 7 joined the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal in unified command as of 6:00 am Tuesday morning. NW Team 7 will also assume command of Jennie’s Peak Fire in Wheeler County and will be assigning resources to that fire. The Type 2 team brings welcomed additional resources to support the ongoing efforts of Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, the local land owners, and agencies who have been engaged and stretched thin since the lightning storm last week. NW Team 7 will be ordering hand crews, heavy equipment and air resources. Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Blue Team Incident Commander, Ian Yocum stated in the in-briefing meeting, “We are stronger together. Together we will get good work done.”

The Stubblefield, Seale, Lonerock, and Jennie’s Peak fires now total 77,500 acres burned with an average of 27% containment. There are currently 443 total firefighters on the incident. Last night’s community meeting in the town of Lonerock was a success with 17 people in attendance.

Stubblefield: Current acreage for the Stubblefield fire is 21,000 acres and sitting at 50% containment. The weather overnight brought cooler temperatures, and higher humidities resulting in no significant fire behavior. Priority operations are to secure the line in the Ferry Canyon area and the North flank of the fire.

Seale: Current acreage for the Seale Fire is 15,500 acres and is at 20% containment. No significant fire movement overnight was noted, and crews continued operations to strengthen the line. Priorities for this fire are to prevent eastward movement and to prevent the fire from making a run into the canyons to the south and west. Crews continued fire operations throughout the night to secure the line along Armstrong Rd. A dozer line along Buckhorn Rd has also added to the containment line. Structure protection resources will continue to work in the area to strengthen the lines around houses and outbuildings.

Lonerock: Current acreage of the Lonerock Fire holds at 5,000 acres and has a solid containment line on the Northern and Western flanks of the fire. Crews continue to monitor fire activity and look for ways to improve containment lines on the Eastern/ Southeastern sides. Overall the fire outlook is positive.

Jennie’s Peak: Current acreage for this fire is 36,000 acres and 10% containment. Oregon Department of Forestry crews worked through the night to contain spot fires on the Northeastern flank. Successful firing operations from Shaw Canyon to Cherry Creek along the Southwestern flank, as well as Rhodes Canyon Rd were conducted yesterday and will continue today weather permitting. The fire has not crossed the John Day River. The Sheriff’s Department has begun to notify residents along Pine Creek, but have not issued evacuation orders. The Red Cross has set up an evacuation information center at the Condon High School and is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Tuesday.

A Miracle Motorcyclist Wasn’t Killed

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Aug 212018

Motorcyclist T-Boned a Jeep that had pulled out from a stop sign at 35th and Hwy 26

The motorcyclist was transported to St. Charles Redmond with non-life threatening injuries.

Emergency responders were sent to Highway 126 at SW 35th Monday on a report of a motorcycle high-speed broadside of a Jeep in the middle of the intersection. The impact sent the motorcycle rider sprawling – the entire front of his motorcycle was mangled and the driver’s side of the Jeep was bashed in. The impact point seemed to be just behind the driver’s side door.

First arriving Redmond Fire paramedics were no doubt surprised that the motorcycle rider, although injured, the injury was non-life threatening. In fact, the injury was of such a nature that the rider was transported not by Life Flight anywhere, but by ground ambulance to St. Charles Redmond where he was treated for his wounds.

It’s yet another lesson that before you pull out from a stop sign look twice and concentrate your stare long enough to truly SEE that nothing is coming.

School Vaccinations Looming on the Horizon!

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Aug 202018

With the start of the school year fast approaching, Deschutes County Health Services reminds parents to make sure their children have all the immunizations they need to go to school and stay healthy.

“It’s really important to remember serious diseases such as measles and pertussis still exist and can cause severe illness in children,” said Jill Johnson, Immunization Program Coordinator for Deschutes County Health Services. “High immunization coverage in schools is one of the best defenses we have against these diseases spreading in our community.”

Oregon law requires that children in school, preschool, or a childcare facility need proof that they are protected against measles, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A and B, and varicella. Parents should take note that one dose of Tdap vaccine is required for incoming 7th graders. Tdap is a tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) booster. Whooping cough is a serious health concern in Oregon with cases in Deschutes County every year.

Parents need to have documentation showing proof of immunizations, a medical exemption, or a non-medical exemption on file with their child’s school.

Only those who have a medical reason for not being vaccinated or have completed the education required for a non-medical exemption are exempt. For more information on immunization requirements, click here.

Parents can call their child’s health care provider, a School-Based Health Center or Deschutes County Health Services at (541) 322-7499 to make an immunization appointment. Most pharmacies provide immunizations for children 7 years and older.

Haystack/Spring Creek Fires update…

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Aug 202018

All evacuation notices for both the mile Post 6 Fire near Haystack, north of Redmond, and the Spring Creek fire near Lake Billy Chinook have been cancelled. Most of the smoke in Deschutes County is from out-of-area wildland fires.

Level 3 Evacuation Notices Issued For Parts of Gilliam County

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Aug 202018

Gilliam County in red

Gilliam County has issued a Level 3 GO evacuation notice for areas 2 miles west of the Airbase on Richmond Road: all of Richmond Road and all of Pattee Road. The evacuation notice DOES NOT INCLUDE AIRBASE HOUSING AND RESIDENCES EAST OF THE AIRBASE.

The Red Cross is enroute to set up an information center at Condon High School for potential evacuees.

Central Oregon Fire Update

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Aug 202018

File photo

[Condon, Oregon] Good progress was made last night on the fires in South Gilliam County. The weather was cool with some associated precipitation, allowing the firefighters to get ahead of the fires in many areas. The fires now total 30,500 acres with 20% containment. There are 119 firefighters on the incident. There is a Community Meeting scheduled for tonight in Lonerock at 7:00PM in the Lonerock Community Hall. At last night’s community meeting in Condon, Emergency Manager Chris Fitzsimmons stated, “This is the first time the State Fire Marshal’s Office has been in our community under a Conflagration and we are very thankful for all the great work that has been accomplished in the past 2 days!”

Today, Monday, will be a day of transition and growth at the Incident Command Post at the Gilliam County Fairgrounds with the arrival of the Type 2 Incident Management Team. NW Team 7 will be fully integrated in Unified Command with Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Blue Team by 6:00 AM Tuesday and the crews will work side-by-side with our local partners.

Wildland firefighters will continue to hold and improve existing containment lines on the fires today, and work to stop the forward progress of the fire on the active sides. Air support continues to be available to maximize efforts of crews on the ground. Firefighters will continue to be challenged by light flashy fuels, steep slopes along the John Day River Canyon and afternoon winds.
With a combination of smoke from Washington and Canadian wildfires, as well as fires burning in Oregon, air quality indices are showing areas of unhealthy to hazardous air across the eastern part of the state. Many factors influence a person’s sensitivity to smoke, including severity and duration of smoke exposure and a person’s health. Smoke may worsen symptoms for people who have pre-existing health conditions and those who are particularly sensitive to air pollution. You can find a link to the DEQ Air Quality Index on http://www.centraloregonfire.org/ as well as tips about dealing with smoke.

There is a Red Flag warning for fire weather from 11:00AM until 9:00PM for critical winds and low humidity. All tactics and operations will keep this in mind in order to provide for firefighter safety at all times.

A Task Force was sent to the Jennie’s Peak fire in Wheeler County last night to assist with structural protection on approximately 20 homes in the area. This Task Force returned to South Gilliam County this morning.

Wildfire Update Sunday Evening…

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Aug 192018

Stubblefield Fire
Near Condon
Rich Taylor photo

The most significant fire activity came from the east side of COFMS protected lands today. The lightning storm that passed through the area last week started approximately 25 fires along the John Day River from Priest Holt to the south and Lower John Day WSA to the north —the largest of which is the Stubblefield Fire at 16,700 acres and 29% containment.

The Oregon State Fire Marshall Blue Team along with the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management and Gilliam County are managing several incidents including the Stubblefield Fire, the Seale Fire (8,000 acres and 15% contained) and Lonerock Fire (4,500 acres). There will be a public meeting about these fires on Monday, August 20 at 7:00 p.m. Lonerock Community Hall, 104 SE Main Street, Lonerock, OR.

Evacuations issued by the Gilliam County Sheriff’s Office for Seale, Stubblefield and Lonerock Fires are as follow:

o Level 1:
– West side of Lonerock Road from Lost Valley Road South to the County Line.
– Buckhorn Lane
– Richmond Road, Air Base and Ferry Canyon area.

o Level 2:
– The north end of Ferry Canyon Road and the west end of Richmond Lane.
– East of Lonerock Road and all of City of Lonerock.
– North end of Ferry Canyon Road and the West end of Richmond Lane

The Jennie’s Peak Fire grew significantly today to the south and west and is now 8,000 acres with no containment. A Level 2 evacuation notice was issued at Tadpoor Lane and Twickenham. Burnt Ranch Road is closed at Priest Holt and Priest Hole is closed.

The Mile Post 6 fire on the Crooked River National Grassland 50% contained at 1,500 acres and the campground at Haystack Reservoir has now been downgraded to a Level 1 evacuation.

The Spring Creek Fire has been contained at 16 acres. All evacuation levels for Perry South and Monty campgrounds have been lifted.

Neighbor spots missing down syndrome boy – 10 blocks from his home off south Canal

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Aug 192018

Missing Boy found 10 blocks from his home Sunday evening.

Redmond PD is looking for a 10 year old male juvenile with down syndrome who is missing from the area of SW Canal Blvd and SW Volcano Ave. The juvenile’s name is Ethan he was last seen at 5 PM.

Ethan has sandy blonde hair red shirt with a drum set on it grey shorts and black Nike high top shoes. Please call Deschutes County 911 if you have and information on the whereabouts of Ethan.

Ethan was found about ten blocks from his home. A resident who was notified by a community-wide police notification network, looked out her window and spotted Ethan on the street in front of her house at 21st and Reindeer. She immediately called Redmond Police who rushed out to take custody of the boy with his father in tow. Father and son were re-united.

Lightning fires update

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Aug 182018

A storm that passed through Central Oregon on Thursday blanketed the region in several hundred lightning strikes. As of today Central Oregon Fire Management Service (COFMS) firefighters have responded to 46 new fires.

The largest fire on COFMS protected lands is currently the Mile Post 6 fire, burning on the Crooked River National Grassland. The 1,000 acre fire closed Highway 26 for part of the afternoon but aerial resources helped calm fire behavior in the evening. Firefighters anticipate getting fire line around this fire around midnight and will then work to contain and secure fire lines to achieve containment. The drag boat races that are scheduled for August 18 at Haystack Reservoir Campground will continue as planned although the Jefferson County Sheriff currently has that campground on a Level 2 evacuation.

The Sorefoot Fire is burning on Prineville District BLM managed lands approximately 5 miles northeast of Antelope, OR. Smokejumpers and engines on scene have stopped forward progression on the 800 acres fire and will work into the night to secure fire lines.

On the Deschutes National Forest, Incident 1022 near Quartz Mountain on the southeast corner of the forest is 50 acres with fire line completely around the fire. Several engines, a crew and a dozer responded to this fire and will continue to work on it through the evening to secure the line. Incident 1042, the Spring Creek Fire, is 1 ½ miles south of Monty Campground on the Sisters Ranger District and is estimated at 10 acres. Firefighters on the ground were assisted by some aerial resources and will work on this fire through the evening. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has placed a Level 1 Evacuation Notice on the Perry South and Monty Campgrounds.

COFMS sent aerial resources and an engine to an approximately 4,000 acre fire called the Stubblefield burning on private land 5 miles east of the John Day River. Oregon State Fire Marshall team arrived last night to help manage the incident. Incident 1018 is an approximately 250 acre fire on private land 8 miles northwest of Fossil. COFMS is also assisting Gilliam County with this incident.