Rogue Valley News, Tuesday 8/2 – Fire Danger Level ‘Extreme’ In Jackson and Josephine Counties, Red Flag Warning Conditions

The latest news stories of interest in the Rogue Valley and around the state of Oregon from the digital home of Southern Oregon, Wynne Broadcasting’s RogueValleyMagazine.com

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Rogue Valley Weather

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory through Friday August 5 for Jackson and Klamath Counties due to smoke from the McKinney fire in Siskiyou County, near Yreka, California.

DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until at least Friday, Aug. 5. DEQ and partner agencies will continue to monitor smoke in the area.

Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on weather. Check current conditions on the Oregon Smoke Information Blog, DEQs Air Quality Index, or by downloading the free OregonAIR app on your smartphone.

For additional information...please visit the Oregon DEQ web site at http://www.oregon.gov/deq

Thunderstorms: Isolated to scattered thunderstorms and showers will develop this afternoon and evening with the best chance of scattered storms with abundant lightning from the Cascades east and across western portions of Siskiyou County into Josephine and western Jackson Counties. On Tuesday, expect a mix of isolated and scattered showers and thunderstorms with the best chance for thunderstorms from the Siskiyous south, Cascades east and into southwestern Jackson County.

Lightning and high fire danger will likely result in new fire starts. Gusty thunderstorm winds could contribute to fire spread. Despite rainfall, initial attack resources could be overwhelmed and holdover fires are possible.

Fire Danger Level  ‘Extreme’ In Jackson and Josephine Counties

Due to dry vegetation, hot conditions, thunderstorms and numerous active fires in the region, the fire danger level on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry in Jackson and Josephine counties will increase to “extreme” (red) at midnight on Tuesday, August 2, 2022. The extreme danger applies to the city of Grants Pass as well.

The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will remain at Level 2 (two). These regulations impact 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.

Beginning Tuesday morning at 12:01 a.m., the following public fire restrictions will take effect:

  • The use of power saws is prohibited, excluding electric chainsaws.
  • The cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited.
  • The mowing of dry or dead grass is prohibited.
  • The operation of any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine not specifically mentioned above is prohibited.

The following fire prevention regulations are currently in effect and will remain in effect until the fire danger level drops significantly:

  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and designated locations.
  • Debris burning, including the use of burn barrels, is prohibited.
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in approved fire rings at designated campgrounds.  In other locations clear of vegetation, portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
  • Fireworks on or within 1/8th of a mile of forestland are prohibited.
  • Any electric fence controller in use shall be listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and operated in compliance with the manufacturer’s fire-safe instructions.
  • The use of exploding targets is prohibited.
  • The use of tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base is prohibited.
  • Motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, may only be used on improved roads free of flammable vegetation, except when used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
  • Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling, except on state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher.

Red Flag Warning Conditions

From the National Weather Service in Medford regarding Red Flag Warning conditions today: “Isolated thunderstorms are expected today. Abundant lightning on critically dry fuels will likely result in new fire starts and a Red Flag Warning is in effect for portions of the area.

”For a full link to all of the current Red Flag Warnings, please click this link: https://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=MFR&wwa=red%20flag%20warning

Several Lightning Fires Near Murphy Have Been Extinguished

As of 8:00 pm last night, all active fire have been extinguished. All fires are holding in their originally reported small sizes.

“The steep terrain and remote locations of these incidents are posing challenges and slowing down our mop-up operations; most of these fires are at least a 30 minute hike in. For those reasons, aircraft has been key, and we’ll continue to utilize these resources as needed tomorrow. Contract resources of engines and crews have also been brought on for these incidents,” ODF Southwest Oregon District sai

Multiple Power Outages Overnight Impacting Thousands In North Jackson County

All power has been restored to the area, according to Pacific Power after multiple power outages were reported just before 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 2nd.

725 customers were without power in the area of Prospect, Oregon. Zip codes for the areas without power include 97536 and 97541. It is estimated that this area will be repaired between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. One portion of the outages lists the cause as ‘Damaged Line’, with the other portion still under investigation.

Pacific Power shows that 2,670 customers are without power in parts of Trail, Shady Cove, and Eagle Point. The zip codes that are being impacted are 97541, 97524, and 97539. The estimated restoration time on this outage is expected to be before 6:30 a.m. 

Commercial Structure Fire in O’Brien

08.01.2022 @ 11:34AM, Illinois Valley Fire District, Oregon Department of Forestry and Rural Metro Fire Rescue responded to McGrew’s Restaurant in O’Brien for a reported Commercial Fire.  

Owners were opening the business, and noticed smoke in the kitchen area, and attempted to knock it down with a fire extinguisher.  Arriving fire units found the kitchen area and outside roof line with smoke showing.  Crews made entry and knocked down the body of the fire in the main dining area.  

Rural Metro was cancelled, and remained available in the district.  Fire did not spread to the entire restaurant. No person was injured and the fire is currently under investigation. Illinois Valley Fire District 

OSFM SET TO HOST TOWNHALL MEETINGS ON 2022 OREGON DEFENSIBLE SPACE CODE DEVELOPMENT

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has announced a series of town hall meetings to talk about the 2022 Oregon Defensible Space Code (SB 762), its development, timelines, and upcoming opportunities for community input.

The OSFM has been working through a process with the Oregon Defensible Space Code Development committee, a diverse group of stakeholders, to develop the new code based on the framework established through SB 762. To continue that process, the OSFM will host a series of 17 community townhalls across Oregon beginning the week of August 1. The first of the series will be held in southern Oregon.

The meetings will be hosted in Ashland, Medford, Grants Pass, and Roseburg. Dates and times for each community meeting are as follows:
August 2 at 11:30 am – 1 pm, Ashland, Ashland High School, 201 S Mountain Ave
August 2 at 5:30 – 7 pm, Medford, Hedrick Middle School, 1501 E Jackson St
August 3 at 5:30 – 7 pm, Grants Pass, Performing Arts Center (PAC), 830 NE 9th St
August 4 at 5:30 – 7 pm, Roseburg, Roseburg Public Safety Building, Umpqua Room, 700 SE Douglas Ave.

For a full schedule, please visit Oregon Defensible Space Code website.
In June, the Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon State University released the Oregon Wildfire Risk Map. Oregon Senate Bill 762 directs the OSFM to establish minimum defensible space code standards and where those may apply, which are areas identified in both the high or extreme risk and in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). 
The OSFM has set up a special section on its website dedicated to the defensible space code development process. Those wishing to learn more can do so here defensible space code requirements.
WUI, High, and Extreme Risk: Appeals ProcessThe updated wildland-urban interface and wildfire risk map assigns every Oregon tax lot a wildfire risk classification of no risk, low risk, moderate risk, high risk, or extreme risk. When the map is issued, and whenever the map is updated in the future, property owners or local governments may appeal their property’s risk classification within 60 days of being notified of a property’s risk classification. The appeal may request a higher or lower risk classification.

Properties that are in the high or extreme risk classifications, inside the boundary of the wildland-urban interface, and have a dwelling, may be subject to future requirements to protect against the risk of wildfire through defensible space or home hardening building codes. Currently, there are no requirements or identified impacts to risk classifications of no risk, low risk, moderate risk, or high or extreme risk that are not inside the boundary of the wildland-urban interface.

Senate Bill 762 identifies the following grounds for appeal of risk classification: Whether the risk assignment is consistent with the Board of Forestry’s adopted administrative rules. Identification of an error in data used to determine the risk assignment if correction of the error justifies a change in risk assignment. Pertinent facts are presented that may justify a change in risk assignment. Filing an appealTo file an appeal, use the 
Appeal Form  and submit it electronically, or mail it to: Oregon Department of ForestryProtection DivisionAttn: Risk map appeals2600 State StreetSalem, OR 97310

If filing electronically, please keep these tips in mind: The form works best if you download it first. The form does not work from iOS platforms (iPhones or iPads). If using Mac OS, download the form and open with Adobe Acrobat Reader. It won’t work from Apple’s Preview application .If the “submit” button isn’t working for you, you can still email the completed electronic form to SB762.Rulemaking@odf.oregon.gov.
Appeals must be received within 60 days of when property owners and local governments are notified of the risk assignment. ODF is mailing a notice to all properties assigned the high or extreme risk July 21, 2022. Public notice has also been given for residents of all other risk classes. Appeal requests must be received by Sept. 21, 2022.

We want to keep you informed about COVID-19 in Oregon. Data are provisional and change frequently. Note: This report covers the three-day period from July 29 to July 31, 2022. Due to a processing error on Sunday, July 31, not all data are reflected in today’s report. We expect the missing data to be reflected in tomorrow’s report.For more information, including COVID-19 data by county, visit our dashboard: http://ow.ly/1Vv750K94AY

Screen shot of linked dashboard shows a decrease trend in cases. Test positivity, hospitalizations and vaccinations have plateaued. Please visit healthoregon.org/coronavirus for more.
An illustration of a water bottle and text that says: Stay hydrated. Drink more water than usual, and don't wait until you're thirsty!
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McKinney Fire Wildfire Update

Fire activity was again mitigated today by cloudy, cooler conditions. On the McKinney Fire, no perimeter growth was observed. Crews were able to work successfully behind the city of Yreka, bringing dozer line along the ridge to protect the structures. In the steep area on the fire’s southern edge, hand crews worked on direct line construction near Baldy Gap, and in Humbug Creek. The fire continued to back down toward the river in the Walker Creek area, and crews worked there to protect structures. On the west side of the fire, dozers are working there way into the fire’s edge, constructing line from Steelhead and Scott Bar to cut off the fire’s western and southern spread.

The China 2 Fire, located south of Highway 96 near Fort Goff, is slowly backing toward Highway 96 in several locations and is very visible from the road. Crews are stationed along the highway and around structures in the area. Fire behavior has been moderate. Both handcrews and dozers are working to construct line, from China Mountain southwest toward China Point, and southeast toward West Grider Creek. Progress on those lines was good today.

Nineteen wildfires began over the weekend in Oregon, many started by lightning strikes, as the wildfire season begins in earnest in the state.

Some of the fires have triggered scattered evacuation warnings, closed a 60-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail near Crater Lake and shut down some campgrounds.

Lightning started the 400-acre Potter fire on Sunday, burning near Potter Mountain in the Umpqua National Forest, as officials reported nearly 900 lightning strikes in the 24 hours that ended at 8 a.m. Monday.

It’s one of three large fires now burning in Oregon. The others are the nearby 1,500-acre Windigo fire that started Friday in the Umpqua National Forest and the 425-acre Big Rattlesnake fire just southwest of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Lightning sparked the Big Rattlesnake fire on Sunday on public and private land, but fire officials don’t know the cause of the Windigo fire, which began Saturday.

Lightning remained a fire-starter threat through Monday as thunderstorms were in the forecast, said Carol Connolly, a spokesperson for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, which oversees fires in Oregon and Washington.

The Potter and Windigo fires closed the Kelsay Valley Horse Camp, Kelsay Valley Forest Camp, Connie Lake and Linda Lake as well as trails nearby. The Pacific Crest Trail was closed from Oregon 138 (mile 1,848 at the northern boundary of Crater Lake National Park) to Oregon 58 (mile 1,908 at Willamette Pass).

Near the Big Rattlesnake fire, the Baker County Sheriff’s Office labeled the area west of Oregon 203 as a Level 1 evacuation — “Be Ready” — while residents east of the highway no longer have an evacuation order.

The highway at one point was closed to all traffic except for emergency vehicles and local residents.

All three of the bigger fires remained at 0% containment as of Monday morning.

It’s too early to say if the wildfires now burning bode for a busy season, Connolly said.

Recent temperatures hitting near 100 and above in Oregon aren’t to blame for the start of the wildfires, but they can contribute to the spread of active fires because of dry ground conditions, she said.

“Our fire season runs the gamut. We’ve had our firefighters on duty since early spring and they’ve been assisting in other states,” Connolly said. “When you look at fire starts and causes, we can’t predict where that lighting is coming in. The one thing we can do is reduce the risk from our human-caused fires.”

To that end, Connolly urged people planning outdoor adventures to check the fire safety rules before arriving and ensure that they put out all open flames before leaving the area.

Legislators Filing Measure To Freeze Property Taxes For Seniors

Last week, four state Republican lawmakers launched a ballot measure, asking voters to sign and support a petition for a constitutional amendment that would freeze the property tax assessment of a primary residence in the year in which a senior homeowner reaches age 65.

Senators Bill Kennemer of Oregon City and Kim Thatcher of Keizer, along with Representatives Cedric Hayden of Fall Creek and Raquel Moore-Green of Salem say Oregon consistently ranks as one of the most expensive states in the nation for seniors to retire. A release said that is given the high cost of housing and the fact that Oregon taxes senior retirement and pension incomes.

In 2019, House Joint Resolution 25 was sponsored by Hayden, who is now the political action committee director for the Committee to Pass the Oregon Senior Property Tax Freeze Act. The release said it was part of a larger tax package drafted by senate and house Republicans aimed at bringing down the high cost of living for working families and small business owners. Hayden said COVID and supply chain and inflation issues created a situation that has devastated working Oregonians and seniors, particularly those on fixed incomes. Hayden said, “HJR 25 was blocked by the majority party, so we’re going to find another way to get this to the people of Oregon on their ballots”.

The release said to quality for the ballot title, petitioners must submit 1,000 valid signatures and go through the ballot titling process with the Secretary of State’s Elections Division. Upon achieving a ballot title, the measure will need valid signatures equaling eight percent of the total ballots cast in the upcoming 2022 gubernatorial election to quality the measure for voter consideration in 2024.

Hayden said when the issue was polled in 2019, 79 percent of Oregonians stated that they would support the measure.

The committee expects to turn in the signatures to quality for the title later this fall so that petitioners can have the full ballot title ready for signature gathering in early 2023.

The Central Oregon Providers Network, representing about 300 St. Charles Medical Group physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other health care workers, said they re-filed their petition Monday with the National Labor Relations Board for union representation, calling it “a re-do after hospital management stalled the process with unsubstantiated accusations.”

The hospital responded that it was trying to assure the laws regarding union organizing efforts are followed.

The health care workers initially filed their petition on June 3, but St. Charles management alleged that some of the campaign’s original organizing team leaders were supervisors, according to a statement from their intended union, AFT (American Federation of Teachers).

The union said it disagreed, but chose to restart the process with a new card collection. The new petition for a union, like the previous one, would include all 300 providers. COPN said it will work with the NLRB to schedule a new hearing on the petition so it can finalize a date for its secret ballot election.

Roseburg Summer 2022 City Connection e-newsletter now online

ROSEBURG, Ore. – Stay up to date on what’s been happening at the City of Roseburg this summer with the July 2022 City Connection e-newsletter, which is now available.

The online newsletter shares the latest news from various City departments.

Inside, you’ll learn about all the fun ways we’re planning to celebrate Roseburg’s 150th birthday in October, what you need to know to run for local office or a Homeless Commission vacancy, and discover the mystery of the Aaron Rose cutout.

You can also read the latest news about the City’s Gary Leif Navigation Center and new Tent Camping Program, check out the Police Department’s new robots and the Community Development Department’s new Historic Resources Map, gain insight into the Diamond Lake Boulevard design plan study now underway, check out cool photos submitted to the Summer Photo Contest, learn about summer rec programs and Public Works projects, find out about a senior center fundraiser and State Fire Marshal town hall here Aug. 4, and hear about the retirements of the Fire Chief and Public Works director, plus who’s stepping into their shoes.

Would you like to get the newsletter delivered right to your email inbox? You can sign up for the online City Connection newsletter on the City website by clicking here. More City Connection e-newsletters can be viewed on the City website by clicking here.

U.S. Coast Guard Day Celebration takes place on August 7th — 1:00 PM

The 18th annual celebration of Coast Guard Day is scheduled to take place at Port Orford Heads State Park at 1:00 on Sunday, August 7th.

Cape Blanco Heritage Society and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department sponsor the event.  As part of the tradition, the ceremonies will open with the presentation of colors by a Coast Guard Color Guard from the North Bend Coast Guard Station.  

Society President Steve Roemen will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.  Music will be provided by the group known as the Adam Coleman Band.  Attendees are encouraged to bring picnic lunches and take advantage of the beautiful surroundings.

The Revenue Cutter Service was established on August 4th, 1790. The Cape Blanco Heritage Society usually celebrates the birth date of the organization on the 1st Sunday in August.  The Cutter Service saw action during the Civil War and was instrumental in the development of Alaska.  This branch of service was active in environmental protection dating back to the 1822 Timber Act that tasked them with protecting government timber from poachers.  In 1915 the Revenue Cutter Service and Lifesaving Service were merged into the U.S. Coast Guard as we know it today.

Visit our Museum at the Port Orford Heads before or during the concert and learn more about the history of this interesting area and enjoy the beautiful hiking trails with wonderful ocean views.

The Port Orford Heads State Park is on the ocean side of Highway101. Turn West on 9th Street in Port Orford, near Milepost 301, and then follow the road up the hill to where the road ends. MORE INFO: https://www.capeblancoheritagesociety.com/

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Women Missing Since May 1st 2022 between Medford, Grants Pass and Roseburg per Oregon State Police

MAKENNA KENDALL                                   5/3/2022
ERICA LEE  HUTCHINSON                          5/26/2022                          
MARIAH DANIELLE SHARP                          6/12/2022          
KAITLYN RAE NELSON                                  6/14/2022                 
BROOKLYN JOHNS                                     6/14/2022
DONNA LEPP                                               6/27/2022  
BARBARA  DELEPINE                                    7/4/2022                     
****KENDRA MARIE HANKS                              7/7/2022 FOUND MURDERED 7/21/2022
CORI BOSHANE MCCANN                             7/8/2022
SHYHAILA SMITH 7/12/2022
ALEZAE LILYANNE MARTINEZ 7/13/2022
RAVEN RILEY                                                7/13/2022
TAHUANA RILEY                                        7/13/2022
DANIELLE NEWVILLE 7/14/2022
CONNIE LORAINE BOND 7/19/2022
KARIN DAWN RUSSELL 7/19/2022
CHEYENNE SPRINGS 7/19/2022
KAREN ANNETTE SCIORTINO 7/22/2022
MARLENE HICKEY 7/23/2022
MAKAYLA MAY VAUGHT 7/23/2022
WENDY JEAN HAZEN 7/26/2022
SHAHE SOPHIA CATRANIDES 7/27/2022

Women Missing Since May 1st 2022 in Lane County per Oregon State Police

REISA RAQUEAL SIKEL                            5/3/2022
HANNAH MARIE RHOTEN                             5/17/2022
MARISSA ALEESA DAMBROSIO                  5/18/2022
ISABELLA BROSOWSKEYOUNGBLOOD    6/7/2022             
LOUISA DAY AVA                                           5/28/2022             
AMY CHRISTINA SULLIVAN                          6/1/2022
NIKKI ELIZABETH  ZEREBNY                              6/6/2022
SHADOW STAR SEVIGNY                               6/17/2022
SHAUNA LEAH HOGAN                             6/17/2022
AIRIONNA CHEALSEY RHODES                    6/27/2022           
KARISSA RENEE ADAMS                                7/6/2000
VERONICA ESSYNCE DELERIO                    7/6/2022
AUBRIE HANNA STEPHENS                           7/10/2022     
LARA IVEY STEINMETZ                                 7/11/2022
SARA LINDSAY SCHAEFER                            7/12/2022
ANGELINA MARIE NAZAR 7/16/2022
LUCIA MARTHA PANNIER 7/17/2022
MALINA LINN COATS 7/20/2022
KATHY A VERNACCHIO 7/23/2022
LILLY ANNE WARMUTH 7/28/2022
MALINA LINN COATS 7/29/2022
JORDYN CLARA GOHL 7/31/2022
QAVAH ALAH TILLILIE 7/31/2022

As of today, 8/2/2022, there are now 44 women missing between Medford and Eugene. Sadly Kendra Hanks has been found murdered, though that takes her off the list. We send thoughts and prayers to her family as well as the families of all missing people in our area.

44 women missing in 3 months. That averages out to 14+ missing per month. Something needs to be done.

This is just a small compilation of missing women’s pictures in the area. There are of course women missing all over Oregon and men and children missing too. We don’t mean to dismiss that, however, there is an inordinate amount of women who go missing each week and there could possibly be a connection with an anomaly or two here and there. Sadly most of them never get any attention. Family and friends must keep any information going and lead investigations so that they aren’t just forgotten. https://www.oregon.gov/osp/missing/pages/missingpersons.aspx

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