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Rogue Valley News, Wednesday, 10/21 – EPA Sets Staging Area for Fire Debris Removal in Central Point

The Environmental Protection Agency has set up a staging area in Central Point to remove debris from the Almeda fire.

EPA spokesperson Mark MacIntyre tells the media they’re still in the process of getting the material consolidated on the site. He says they’re not sure how much hazardous waste they’ll collect yet, but a crew of eight teams will be working on the removal process. “It will take us probably two or three days of scouring the property and then bringing stuff back to get a better handle of what kind of volume we can expect over the next sixty days,” MacIntyre said.

Once crews collect the debris, it will get re-sorted before going to a disposal site. MacIntyre says residents should know that the staging area is not for personal use.

“We don’t want people to confuse our staging area with a household hazardous waste collection center, so that people roll up in their cars with their stuff in their trunk thinking that they can get rid of their household hazardous waste there – that’s not what it’s for.” MacIntyre says they expect to be at the staging site for the next two months.

Hazarous Waste Removal in Jackson County Begins

Recovery work expected to take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week

At the request of the State of Oregon and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun the work to survey, remove and dispose of household hazardous waste (HHW) from properties in eight counties affected by the Oregon wildfires. This HHW removal is Step 1 of the overall response and is available at no cost to property owners.  

Fire-affected Oregon property owners now have a dedicated phone number – 541-225-5549 – to ask questions about EPA’s removal of household hazardous waste at their property or provide additional details about their property that will help speed the EPA removal work. The hotline offers service in both English and Spanish.

The removal of household hazardous waste is required before the property can be cleared of ash and debris. Property owners who have not already completed a “Right of Entry” (ROE) form with their county are strongly encouraged to do so to help speed cleanup operations in their area. See: Oregon’s Wildfire Cleanup website for more information on the needed forms.

EPA cleanup crews are now assessing and removing household hazardous wastes including products like paint, cleaners, solvents, pesticides, fuel, oil, batteries, and pressurized tanks.  Once completed, EPA will post a sign indicating they’ve completed Step 1. See: Jackson County’s Wildfire Recovery website to sign your ROE for household hazardous waste removal.

Oregonians who lived or were employed in one of the following counties at the time of the recent historic wildfires – Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion – can now preregister for Disaster SNAP (DSNAP).

Due to the pandemic, the application will be online. If you need assistance, please call 2-1-1 or the Aging and Disability Resource Connection at 1-855-ORE-ADRC.

Pre-registration will speed up your application and interview process. Eligibility and benefits will be based on your household income, resources, and disaster-related expenses. Pre??’registration does not guarantee eligibility or benefits.

Headlines from Around the State of Oregon

Ballots for the 2020 election began to be mailed to Oregonians last week, and so far more than 88,000 people have cast their votes, following suit with the nationwide early voting trends.

By comparison, at this time during the 2016 presidential election 12,591 ballots were returned in Oregon. In 2012 it was less than 10,000.

About 3% of registered voters in Oregon have returned their ballots, according to the Elections Division of the Secretary of State. During the last two presidential elections, between 80% and 82% of registered voters in Oregon have returned their ballots.

Oregonians still have 15 days to return their ballots.

COVID-19 has claimed six more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 633.   Oregon Health Authority reported 346 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday,  bringing the state total to 40,136.

The counties with the highest number of new cases Tuesday were Multnomah — with 101 cases — Washington and Marion counties. The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (3), Clackamas (28), Columbia (1), Coos (3), Crook (2), Deschutes (3), Douglas (9), Harney (2), Hood River (1), Jackson (10), Jefferson (4), Klamath (4), Lane (42), Linn (13), Malheur (11), Marion (38), Morrow (2), Multnomah (101), Polk (6), Umatilla (10), Wasco (2), Washington (44) and Yamhill (7).

Barring significant new wildfires, this will be the last regularly scheduled ODF fire situation report of this year. October rains have allowed the majority of ODF districts and fire protection associations to end fire season. The national fire preparedness level was lowered to 3 last week. With the Holiday Farm Fire now being managed by a Type 3 team, no ODF Incident Management Teams are currently deployed on wildfires.

Only one wildfire start was reported yesterday in Oregon, with no new acres burned reported.   

Check ODF’s online public fire restrictions map to see what if any fire restrictions might still be in force for your area.  

2020 Fire Season On ODF-Protected Lands
This fire season there have been 2,027 fires across all jurisdictions in Oregon and 1,221,324 acres burned. On ODF-protected lands, there have been 912 fires, close to the 10-year average of 918. In the past 10 years the average number of acres burned on lands protected by ODF has been 41,426. More than 13 times that amount – 551,816 acres – has burned this year.  


Santiam State Forest is still closed to the public. Before heading out to hunt or recreate on other state or federal public lands, please check to see if there are any restrictions or closures due to the recent fires. There are still portions of some highways in wildfire areas that are closed. Use ODOT’s TripCheck to plan your route.

 Fire name Acres burnedContainment Location
Lionshead204,469       46%20 miles W of Warm Springs
Beachie Creek193,556       72%15 miles N of Detroit
Holiday Farm173,393       96%3 miles W of McKenzie Bridge
Riverside138,054       61%2 miles SE of Estacada
Archie Creek131,542       95%20 miles E of Glide
Slater44,597 in Oregon       75%6 SE of Cave Junction (also in No. California)

More Information

Oregon’s COVID-19 cases have been surging to record levels for the past month. And it’s about to get a lot worse unless the state’s 4.2 million residents immediately alter their behavior, officials say.

New modeling released Friday shows that if transmission continues at its current rate, the number of newly identified cases — known as the case count — is expected to jump from 345 each day to 570 by November 5th.

Because most cases go undetected, officials estimate the actual number of Oregonians infected each day would be about 2,200 people. That’s a 69% increase and one that state health officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger describes as “troubling.” But even worse, if the rate of transmission increases over the next three weeks, the number of new cases reported each day could more than double to 740. That would translate to 3,400 Oregonians infected each day, whether their cases are identified or not.

Some experts say this is a highly plausible scenario because the virus is expected to spread more easily in coming weeks due to Halloween parties, trick-or-treating and cooler, wetter weather that prompts residents to spend more time indoors.

Authorities say a former Marion County sheriff’s deputy accused of theft, official misconduct and other charges was found dead at a Wilsonville hotel.

Sean Banks was found dead Saturday at the GuestHouse Inn & Suites near Interstate 5, according to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office. It appears he killed himself.   In 2019, Banks was indicted on 25 counts of theft, official misconduct, tampering with physical evidence and computer crime, according to court records. The indictment alleges he stole guns, a camera and money. The results of an investigation into his death weren’t immediately available Monday morning.

Former child star Zachary Ty Bryan is facing charges after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend in Eugene.  Police arrested the 39-year-old Home Improvement star Friday night.  He’s accused of strangling his girlfriend and taking away her phone when she called 9-1-1.  The incident comes just two weeks after the “Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift” star separated from his wife of 14 years.  He was charged with strangulation, a felony, and fourth degree assault and interfering with making a report, both misdemeanors.

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody (AIC) died October 19, 2020. He was incarcerated at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution and passed away at a local hospital.

He tested positive for COVID-19. He was between 50 and 60 years old. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. Department-wide, this is the sixteenth AIC to die who tested positive for COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19 cases inside Oregon’s prisons, please visit DOC’s COVID-19 website. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,000 adults in custody who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state.

DOC requires employees and AICs to wear masks if they cannot maintain six feet of social distancing. Wearing masks is mandatory at all times in health services areas, some work areas, and in food services areas. Face coverings have been provided to AICs and staff. If an AIC becomes ill and exhibits flu-like symptoms, CDC and OHA guidance for supportive care are followed.  Institutions continue to clean and disinfect numerous times a day. DOC asks AICs to report symptoms of COVID to medical staff. Posters are in all DOC institutions encouraging individuals to maintain proper hygiene and to uphold appropriate social distancing to the extent possible. Health screening processes are in place before staff are allowed to enter facilities. This screening includes a temperature check and a screening questionnaire. Visiting remains closed until further notice.

The Oregon State Police is requesting the public’s assistance in locating the person(s) that shot and killed a doe Mule Deer on Hwy 26 near milepost 46 in Crook County.   

On October 11, 2020, Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Troopers were notified that an unknown person(s) had shot and left to waste a doe Mule Deer. 

It is believed the shooting took place sometime earlier the same day.  Anyone who may have witnessed it would have been driving on Hwy 26 West of the Ochoco summit approximately one mile West of the Ochoco Christian Camp. 

OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers request that if you have any information regarding this incident to please contact the TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 or *OSP(677) or TIP E-Mail: (Monitored M-F 8:00AM – 5:00PM)  – Trooper Barr is investigating.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s (OPRD) All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Advisory Committee will meet 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Nov. 5.

On the agenda: ATV program and safety updates, ATV permit sales and trends, proposed Class IV ATV classification and operator requirement changes along with other committee and legislative updates.

Members of the public will be able to listen to the call; instructions on how to attend will be available online prior to the meeting on the committee meeting webpage: Public comments can be received via email at until 5 p.m. Nov. 4, 2020.

HINES, Ore. – Did you know the Bureau of Land Management has Resource Advisory Councils – made up of people just like you – that give citizen-based advice and recommendations on the management of public lands? These groups provide an opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds and interests to have a stronger impact on the decisions made for public lands.

The Steens Mountain Advisory Council (SMAC) currently has five vacant positions and six positions with terms expiring in 2021 open for public nomination:

  • a person interested in fish and recreational fishing in the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area (CMPA);
  • a person who is a grazing permittee on Federal lands in the CMPA;
  • two persons who are recognized environmental representatives, one to represent the State as a whole and one from the local area;
  • a person who has no financial interest in the CMPA to represent statewide interests;
  • a person who participates in mechanized or consumptive recreation in the CMPA, such as hunting, fishing, or off-road driving;
  • a recreation permit holder or representative of a commercial recreation operation in the CMPA;
  • a person who regularly participates in dispersed recreation in the CMPA, such as hiking, camping, nature viewing, nature photography, bird watching, horse back riding, or trail walking;
  • a person to serve as the State government liaison to the Council;
  • a private landowner within the CMPA; and
  • a member of the Burns Paiute Tribe.

If you are interested in public land management on Steens Mountain, this is a great opportunity to share your expertise and work with a collaborative group. The SMAC has been successful in bringing diverse and often competing interests to the table to deal with issues of mutual concern. This inclusive approach has shown great promise as a means to creatively and successfully deal with long-standing problems of public land management. Consensus-driven recommendations often lead to sustainable outcomes that benefit natural resources and have a high level of public support.

“Resource Advisory Councils provide the BLM with vital feedback on current issues, concerns and proposals, and enable us to engage local communities and stakeholders to improve our management of public lands,” said BLM Burns District Manager Jeff Rose.

To nominate yourself or someone you know, submit a membership application and supporting letters of recommendation from the groups or interests to be represented to the BLM Burns District Office, 28910 Hwy 20 West, Hines, Oregon. Nominees will be evaluated based on their training, education, and knowledge of the Steens Mountain area.

The application deadline is November 13, 2020. Nomination forms can be picked up at this same location, by mail or phone request at (541) 573-4400, or online at:

The specific category the nominee would like to represent should be identified in the nomination form and letters of reference. The BLM and the Governor of Oregon will review the applications and submit recommended nominees to the Secretary of the Interior, who has the responsibility for making the appointments.

Appointed members must reside in the State of Oregon. The SMAC generally holds quarterly meetings in Hines, Bend and Frenchglen. Although members serve without monetary compensation, travel and per diem expenses are reimbursed at current rates for government employees. SMAC members are normally appointed to three-year terms.
For more information on the SMAC, call Tara Thissell at (541) 573-4400.

Drug Enforcement Administration will direct resources to help reduce violent crime in communities throughout the country.  Under this initiative, called Project Safeguard, DEA will identify and prioritize ongoing drug trafficking investigations with a nexus to violent crime.

“Drug trafficking and violent crime are inextricably linked,” said Acting DEA Administrator Shea.  “From the extreme levels of violence in Mexican cartels, to the open air drug markets in American cities, drug traffickers employ violence, fear, and intimidation to ply their trade.  Neighborhoods across our country are terrorized by violent drug trafficking organizations that have little regard for human life, and profit from the pain and suffering of our people. Along with our law enforcement partners, DEA is committed to safeguarding the health and safety of our communities.”

“Violence goes hand in hand with illegal drug trafficking and continually threatens the safety of our communities.” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis.  “While conducting investigations we continually  encounter individuals associated with violent actions that have included kidnappings, armed assaults, home invasions, murder for hire, weapons trafficking and  distributing the most dangerous drug we face –fentanyl.”

Working in collaboration with our federal, state, and local partners, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service, DEA’s Project Safeguard will comprise three focus areas to address the growing violent crime threat in many cities across the United States:

  • Disrupting, dismantling, and destroying the most significant violent drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States;
  • Increasing federal prosecutions of firearms traffickers associated with drug trafficking organizations; and
  • Prioritizing the capture of DEA fugitives who employ violence as part of drug trafficking.

The traffickers that flood our communities with deadly drugs, including opioids, heroin, fentanyl, meth and cocaine, are often the same criminals responsible for the high rates of assault, murder, and gang activity in our cities.  These criminals employ fear, violence, and intimidation to traffic drugs, and in doing so, exacerbate a drug crisis that claims more than 70,000 American lives every year.   In recent months, violent crime has spiked in numerous cities and regions around the country, and drug trafficking is responsible, in part, for this violence.

Since August 1, 2020, the DEA Seattle Field Division and its state and local partners have conducted operations against these violent traffickers throughout the Pacific Northwest which have yielded:

  • 146 arrests
  • 95 weapons seized
  • $3,559,107.00 in assets seized
  • Seized drugs:

120 pounds of heroin

           18.5 pounds of powder fentanyl

            571 pounds of methamphetamine

            37 pounds of cocaine

            41,200 pills containing fentanyl

The DEA Seattle Field Division has worked these high level investigations with the assistance of our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

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