Rogue Valley News, Thursday, Oct. 31st – It’s Halloween; Oregon Still Fighting Some Wildfires

The latest news from around the Rogue Valley and Southern Oregon, from


Rogue Valley Weather

Sunny, with a high near 65. Calm winds. Overnight, patchy frost possible, low around 33.

Patchy frost before 8am. Otherwise, sunny, with a high near 68.

Sunny, with a high near 70.

Sunny, with a high near 69.

Today’s Headlines...

While fire season in Oregon is officially over, wildland firefighters are still working to contain blazes across Western Oregon as windy conditions and low humidity gripped the state.

Strong east winds caused wildfire danger levels to climb on Wednesday. Southwestern Oregon is experiencing a similar weather pattern as California, where multiple fires have destroyed homes and forced thousands to evacuate. The Coos Forest Protective Association responded to four fires since Sunday, one of which the agency says was powerline related. Firefighters in Lane County have brought two fires that started Tuesday under control.

Firefighters also contained a small blaze near Eagle Point Tuesday. Firefighters continue to work a small fire in Josephine County that started Saturday. Fire crews are also working to control two somewhat larger fires in northwest Oregon east of Molalla and near Detroit. No injuries have been reported and no structures have been reported destroyed.

For many families, venturing out onto public lands to cut a Christmas tree is an annual holiday tradition!

Beginning November 8, 2019, tree permits will be available online and at locations across southwest Oregon, including at Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest District offices, Bureau of Land Management Offices in Medford, Grants Pass and Coos Bay, and from multiple local vendors.

Permits allow the cutting of personal-use Christmas trees, and a permit is required for each individual tree visitors wish to take home.

Permits for Christmas trees are $5.00 per tree, and are non-refundable. There is a limit of five tree permits per household, and the permits may be used only on those lands open to Christmas tree harvesting that are administered by the RRSNF, and the Medford and Coos Bay BLM Districts. Free maps that identify these areas are provided at the time of permit purchase,

as well as on Avenza. The RRSNF is  one of 13 National Forests participating in offering  permits online.   Can’t make it to our offices during open business hours? Fret not! 

Visitors can now purchase their permits online, and then print them from the convenience of their homes using a computer or a mobile device. It’s quick. It’s simple. And it’s easily done from home!

As in previous years, fourth graders who hold a current Every Kid Outdoors pass can bring their pass into any of the RRSNF offices and receive their Christmas tree permit for free! Please note: Every Kid permits cannot be issued through the new Open Forest system at this time.

More information, including tree-hunting tips, guidelines for where people may cut their trees, and safety tips, can be found on the RRSNF website.

Oregon State Police is continuing the investigation into yesterday morning’s hit and run vehicle versus pedestrian crash on Highway 46  near the intersection of Laurel Road in rural Josephine County. 

In the early morning hours yesterday, OSP troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a vehicle crash on Highway 46 near the intersection of Laurel Road. Preliminary investigation revealed that a black 1999 Mercedes C28 was traveling eastbound on Highway 46 it struck a pedestrian in the roadway.  The driver of the vehicle fled the scene prior to the arrival of first responders. The unidentified pedestrian was transported by air ambulance to Rogue Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.

One lucky person who purchased a Powerball ticket in Aurora, has only a few weeks to claim $50,000 before it is set to expire.

On Thursday, Nov. 21, a winning Powerball ticket will expire, meaning the person who purchased the ticket in Aurora last year, will be unable to claim the $50,000 prize. Oregon Lottery tickets are valid for one year.

There are several other unclaimed Powerball prizes in addition to the one set to expire in November. In February, a $100,000 Powerball prize sold in Portland will expire. In March, another $50,000 Powerball prize sold in Medford will also expire.

All unclaimed prizes go into the state’s Economic Development Fund. Each year approximately $5 million in unclaimed prizes goes into the fund. Lottery officials recommend that you always sign the back of your tickets with each Oregon Lottery game you play, to ensure you can claim any prize you may win.

The Oregon Lottery reminds players to always sign the back of their Lottery tickets, regardless of the game. In the event of winning a jackpot, they should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings. Prize winners of more than $50,000 should contact the Lottery office to schedule an appointment to claim their prize.

The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission will convene for their final meeting of the year Nov. 19 – 20 in Jacksonville.

On Nov. 19, commissioners will tour the area around Jacksonville then meet for a work and training session noon – 4 p.m. at Wolf Creek Inn State Heritage Site.

Nov. 20 the commission will convene an executive session 8 – 10:15 a.m. at the Jacksonville Inn, 175 E. California St., Jacksonville, to discuss real estate and legal issues. Executive sessions are closed to the public. A business meeting will begin 10:15 a.m. at the same location and will be open to the public.

Notable requests on the business meeting agenda:

Approve grant requests under the Recreational Trails Program (RTP)
The commission is responsible for approving the ranking and distribution of RTP grants as recommended by the RTP advisory committee. For the 2019 grant cycle, 30 applicants applied for funding for their motorized or non-motorized trail projects. Learn more about RTP online:

Approve proposed rules for:

  • Managing the newly-designated Nehalem Scenic Waterway.
  • Directing grant funding process for bicycle/pedestrian projects.
  • Updating definition of Class IV ATVs.
  • Clarifying language used for Heritage Commemorations.
  • Updating procedures and criteria for Heritage grant programs.
  • Revising language regarding Special Access Pass waivers, which provide limited free access to Oregon State Parks for eligible people.

The full draft agenda and meeting packet are on the commission website:

Must Read

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Rogue Valley News, Tuesday 3/8 – Suspect In Selma Double Homicide Shot During Standoff With Law Enforcement, UPDATE: Officer-Involved Shooting on I-5

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