Rogue Valley News – Monday, 8/17 – Crane Fire Burning on Lakeview Ranger District

The latest news stories and stories of interest in the Rogue Valley and around the state of Oregon from the online digital home of the valley,

Monday, August 17, 2020

Rogue Valley Weather

Today: Isolated thunderstorms after 11am. Widespread haze after 5pm. Partly sunny and hot, with a high near 102. Calm wind becoming north northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 101. Calm wind becoming north northwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 95. Calm wind becoming west northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 94.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 95

Todays Headlines

Crane Fire currently burning on Lakeview Ranger District southeast of Lakeview
The Crane Fire is currently burning on the Fremont-Winema National Forest Lakeview Ranger District.  It was discovered today around 1:45 p.m.

Mid-afternoon the fire was estimated to be approximately 400 acres.  It is burning on Crane Mountain, near Crane Creek, southeast of the town of Lakeview.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Smoke from the fire is highly visible from Lakeview and the surrounding area.  Currently there are no structures threatened. 

The town of Lakeview is not threatened by the fire, however there are likely to be smoke impacts.  Individuals with smoke sensitivity or medical conditions that could be affected by smoke are advised to take precautionary measures.  This includes closing windows and using indoor air circulation.

Multiple ground and air resources are currently fighting the fire, with additional resources on order.  Winds in the area have been a challenge, grounding air resources earlier this afternoon.  At approximately 4:15 p.m., all four single-engine air tankers were able to make drops on the fire.  Air resources will continue to operate as long as wind conditions allow.

A Type 3 Incident Management Team is expected to take over management of the fire tomorrow morning.  A Type 2 Incident Management Team is ordered and expected to transition in late tomorrow.

On Saturday, August 15, 2020 at approximately 4:00 P.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a four-vehicle crash on Hwy 97 near milepost 108 between Madras and Terrebonne.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a red 1993 Chevy Blazer, operated by Donald Matney (54) of Redmond, was traveling southbound and crashed into the back of a stopped 1999 white Chevy Cavalier operated by Emily Worthington (19) of Terrebonne. 

Traffic was stopped at this location due to another vehicle crash and fire approximately 5 miles south.

The Cavalier was pushed into another vehicle and subsequently across the oncoming lane where a northbound vehicle had a minor collision with the Cavalier before coming to rest.  The other involved vehicles were identified as a Jeep Cherokee and a white BMW X2.  Both of these vehicles were occupied by multiple occupants and were treated for non life-threatening injuries.

The Chevy Cavalier had two passengers, Gavin Hermosillo (21) of Terrebonne who sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased and a 12 year old who was transported via ground ambulance to an area hospital for serious injuries. 

Matney and Worthington were both transported to area hospitals.

OSP was assisted by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, ODOT, Jefferson County Fire and Rescue, and Jefferson County District Attorney’s office. 

Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority on Friday issued an expansion to the state’s face covering requirements, adding mandates for private and public office spaces.

It is to take effect immediately. The new guidance provided an exception to allow for face coverings to be removed in “situations where someone’s identity needs to be confirmed for visual comparison, such as interactions in banks or with law enforcement.” Governor Brown foreshadowed the new requirement in a press conference on Tuesday following the end of a single-day special legislative session.

Governor Kate Brown is moving Malheur County from Phase 2 back to Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan.  

Brown says COVID-19 is rapidly spreading in the county.  Malheur County was placed on the Watch List on July 3rd to get additional support from the state.  Brown says immediate action is necessary to reduce spread of the disease. The change takes effect beginning today.

Oregon State Police on Thursday revealed that it would withdraw its complement of officers deployed in the city of Portland.

The detachment came to Oregon’s largest city in beginning of August under an agreement with Governor Kate Brown to fill the vacuum left by federal law enforcement officers from the Department of Homeland Security. OSP’s officers were charged primarily with taking over protection of the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse during continued nightly protests and flare-ups of violence or vandalism. While the departure of federal forces from downtown did largely shift the flash-point of protests away from the courthouse, it did not mark the end of violence in Portland over the following two weeks, with frequent clashes taking place outside of the Portland Police Association offices. Governor Kate Brown said in a Facebook post that the OSP withdrawal had been “planned for the last two weeks.”

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