Oregon News, Friday, July 26th – Smoke fills Canyonville To Rogue Valley

News from around the State of Oregon, from RogueValleyMagazine.com

Milepost 97 Fire Has Grown From ½ Acre to Over Fifteen Hundred – In. One. Day.

If it’s any indicator of the severity of the season; the wildfire burning in Douglas County near Canyonville is giving a clear showing. Estimated at 1.650 acres by the second news day, the fire has prompted a Level 3 or “GO” evacuation for the four homes on Ritchie Road, south of the city.

While that level is indicative of the significant danger the fire poses currently; at this time officials say those are the only evacuation in place. MP 97 fire is burning hot, up a rocky hillside, away from I-5 and is not threatening the towns of Canyonville, Riddle or the community of Azalea.

At this time the Douglas Forest Protective Association says the fire is burning approximately 1 mile south-east of the city of Canyonville. Travelers are urged to use caution when driving in the area; there will be fire crews and equipment along the freeway. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

Victim of Domestic Violence Can Hope for More Protection Under New Law

Guns and those who commit violence against their loved ones don’t mix. In an attempt to offer victims more protection from repeat violence, Governor Brown signed House Bill 2013 into law Tuesday; making a handful of changes to existing law while protecting the due process rights of gun owners.

America has a gun violence crisis on its hands, but in Oregon, there is hope for an end.  The bill provides that a “person subject to certain court protective orders is prohibited from possessing firearms if person had opportunity to be heard on order and did not request hearing, failed to appear at hearing or withdrew request before hearing occurred”.       

420 years of majesty destroyed under the radar – OSU Forestry Department Clear-Cuts Old Growth

To make money for their forestry program, Southern Oregon University quietly sent notices to area residents; then closed the road immediately the historical land track. The notice, quiet and unnoticed by most, was for planned clear-cut to the McDonald-Dunn stand. The old growth Douglas Fir they razed, sprouted in 1599 in Oregon, along with other trees more than 250 years old. The decision netted $425,000 for the university’s College of Forestry. 

Residents say, under the guise they would cut dead and dying trees, OSU clear-cut trees that had been growing form 420 years. Trees neighbors though, surely, were already protected. Now, the university’s motives are in question. And in hindsight, even the interim dean of OSU Dept. of Forestry says, “They wouldn’t do this again”.

The Mighty Deschutes Claims Another Life – Body of Missing Rafter Found

Jonathan Jensen was just 36 when his tube capsized on the mighty Deschutes River last weekend.  Jensen was last seen Sunday in the Moody Rapids area of the famous river, according to the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office.

Reports say he was last seen about 5:45 p.m. standing in the river after his tube capsized on the Class III section of the Rapids. His body was located by friends and family around 10 a.m. Thursday where the Deschutes reaches the Gorge.

A mile from town – Wildfire ignites overnight along I-5 near Canyonville

Burning near I-5 and estimated at 7 acres as of midnight, the initial half-acre fire is burning in old growth and brush on a steep, rocky hillside; making suppression efforts difficult. And it’s hot; one firefighter has already been sent to the hospital suffering heat related illness.

No Campfires on the Gorge – Fire season is in full swing

Rising temperatures create precautionary measures across the state; Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is prohibiting all campfires, open flames and propane fire rings in Ainsworth State Park, Memaloose State Park and Viento State Park.

The ban was effective 8 a.m. Wednesday and applies to wood, charcoal, wood pellets and all other flame sources that cannot be extinguished immediately. Propane fire rings are prohibited too, including smaller propane rings that may fit inside or on top of existing campground fire rings. OPRD does not have an estimate for when the ban will be lifted.

It’s a Partial HootOwl – South Central Oregon goes into Level II fire precaution status

 The South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership raised the fire danger rating to “high” and the precaution level to 2. This covers the Fremont-Winema National Forest, Lakeview District Bureau of Land Management, Klamath-Lake District Oregon Department of Forestry, Crater Lake National Park, and Sheldon-Hart NWR Complex lands.

In addition, all private, county, and state wildlands protected by the Klamath-Lake District, Oregon Department of Forestry [ODF], along with Walker Range Forest Patrol Association will be placed under a public regulated use closure. These changes were effective at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday Morning.

Bend, Oregon gets a little less tangles – Highway 97 to get a $60 million dollar re-route

It’s a mess of a traffic snarl; but it’s coming to an end. Greg Walden announces the U.S. Department of transportation is granting the state department 60 million dollars for a much needed project; The grant will provide essential funding to the Oregon Department of Transportation to reroute U.S. Highway 97 north of Empire Avenue. 

The original Highway 97 re-route, known to the locals as “The Parkway” ends in a mess. The project was not continued to the edge of town; but instead dropped right back into the old highway…directly in front of the mall! For years this has created dangerous traffic backups with no room for error. Walden has long had this project on his list of high priorities.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is prohibiting all campfires, open flames and propane fire rings in Ainsworth State Park, Memaloose State Park and Viento State Park effective immediately.  The ban applies to all areas in those parks and will be in effect until further notice from OPRD.

Clay Courtright, Columbia River Gorge state parks manager, says the ban is precautionary. Recent high temperatures and strong winds in the Gorge have elevated the danger of accidental, human-caused wildfires.

Ban details:

  • The ban applies to wood, charcoal, wood pellets and all other flame sources that cannot be extinguished immediately.
  • Propane fire rings are prohibited too, including smaller propane rings that may fit inside or on top of existing campground fire rings.
  • Other valve-operated flame sources, such as liquid fuel cooking devices, are allowed under the ban, but cannot be left unattended.
  • Smoking is allowed under the ban, but still subject to existing rules about smoking in Oregon State Parks.

OPRD does not have an estimate for when the ban will be lifted. The agency will continue to evaluate conditions based on weather, available resources and information from state and local fire officials.

Stay up-to-date with the latest state park fire restrictions on the official webpage: bit.ly/2uLzdwY 

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