Disasters & Accidents

Courtney Flatt / Earthfix

2015 was the worst wildfire season in Washington state history: three young firefighters died and hundreds of homes burned in blazes that sent more than a million acres up in smoke. For residents of central Washington, a recent gathering offered the first chance to come together and ponder the future in a region likely to see more and bigger fires in years to come.

Two people were killed in an explosion at a shooting range east of Bend Tuesday afternoon. Authorities say the explosion happened inside a World War II-era tank. Paramedics with Bend Fire & Rescue attempted lifesaving efforts, but the two people died from their injuries. Their names have not yet been released.

The incident is being investigated jointly by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Detective Division and the Oregon State Police Arson and Explosives Section.

Umpqua Community College

About one-fourth of the UCC Strong fund has been distributed to those affected by the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg.

The fund for victims and others affected by the shooting has reached nearly $700,000. Donations are still coming in from around the world. $145,000 has gone to those closest to the tragedy and who need it most. Brian Prawitz with the UCC Strong Committee says they will determine who is eligible to receive money.

UPDATE: All lanes have re-opened on northbound I-5 near highway 58.

Drivers should expect heavy traffic on northbound I-5 south of highway 58 near Eugene. A fatal multi-vehicle crash near milepost 188 has been cleared. However, a subsequent multi-vehicle accident two miles south of the original is causing delays. Rick Little is with the Oregon Department of Transportation:

Rachael McDonald

Lane County has completed safety improvements along Row River Road in Cottage Grove where a bike/ pedestrian trail intersects it.
Officials held a ribbon cutting Wednesday. KLCC's Rachael McDonald spoke with Lydia McKinney, Transportation Planning Manager for Lane County.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Portland and Western Railroad Company are continuing work to clean up about 1,500 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled in Junction City, Tuesday. A locomotive ran over a rail clamp which was left on the tracks by a maintenance crew, causing the accident near Holly and 12th Streets. DEQ Spokesman Dave Balyea says there doesn't seem to be any wildlife or plant life affected.

Karen Richards

At 10:15 today (Thursday), millions of people around the world stopped, dropped and held on as part of the Great Shakeout. Instructors and students at Lane Community College's downtown campus took part in the earthquake drill.


September’s National Preparedness Month has sparked renewed interest in earthquakes and other natural disasters in Oregon. Corvallis will host a readiness forum tonight (Thursday).

Rachael McDonald

Thursday, on the 4th day of fall term, a 26-year old man opened fire in a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. The Douglas County Sheriff says 10 people were killed, 7 wounded. The shooter was killed by law enforcement.

Lane Blood Center

The fatal bus and vehicle crash in Seattle today has the potential to impact the northwest blood supply. Four people were killed, eight were critically injured. At least twenty others received minor injuries. The injured patients are being treated in trauma centers.  

The Lane Blood Center says it is part of Bloodworks Northwest, a regional network. The center in Eugene says it is responding to additional orders for blood components from a number of the hospitals receiving injured patients.