Disasters & Accidents

Angela Kellner

Management at the Springfield Plywood and Veneer Mill began meeting individually with its employees Tuesday.  The mill burned down last week, putting 250 people out of work.  The owners are offering two possible employment alternatives at mills in Roseburg and Glendale.

Chuck Wert is the chief operating officer of Swanson Group, which owns the mill.

Wert: "As I understand it we spoke with around 60 employees today and about 40 of them that say they are interested in looking at the other job opportunities we have for them in Roseburg and Glendale."

Jessica Robinson

Residents of fire-ravaged central Washington say they're in a “state of shock.” Fires destroyed more houses over the weekend and prompted additional evacuation notices. Now, some people are sifting through the rubble of their former homes. Jessica Robinson has more from Okanogan County.

Kelsey Verbeck and her husband grabbed a few items before evacuating their home in Pateros, Wash. A diaper bag for their newborn. Work clothes for the next day.

Jessica Robinson

Quickly moving wildfires burning hundreds of thousands of acres in Oregon and Washington have pushed those states to the top of the national priority list for firefighting resources. Officials say 127 houses and other structures in the Northwest have been consumed by wildfires –- though there are reports of many more destroyed. Jessica Robinson reports from central Washington, which has seen some of the worst of the damage.

A fire earlier this afternoon briefly closed the Howard Buford Recreation Area southeast of Eugene. The fire is now fully contained. The north side of the area will remain closed as crews monitor and investigate the blaze. Mount Pisgah and the arboretum are open to visitors.

The Oregon Department of Forestry responded with a helicopter to dump water on the blaze. It burned a little more than an acre.

ODF crews are performing mop-up operations. The area will be monitored throughout the weekend by Lane County Parks staff and volunteers.

Swanson Group

Thursday's catastrophic fire at the Springfield Plywood and Veneer Mill has left 250 employees jobless and owners of the parent company accessing their options. Swanson Group acquired the mill on F Street in Springfield in 2007. It is a total loss. The fire is under investigation. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert spoke to Swanson Group's Chief Operating Officer Chuck Wert as he arrived from company headquarters in Glendale to access the still-smoldering site.  

Angela Kellner

UPDATE: Thursday 10:00 pm 

A fast-moving fire engulfed and destroyed the Springfield Plywood and Veneer mill Thursday. No injuries were reported.

To see a video of the helicopter dropping water on the fire, visit our KLCC Facebook page.

James Thompson

The Moccasin Hill wildfire in south-central Oregon has burned as many as 20 homes and 2,500 acres.

Reporter Devan Schwartz visited the town of Sprague River and spoke with people who lost everything, and those in the community lending a hand.
 

I’m riding in a truck with James Thompson, who co-owns Whistler’s Trading Post. It’s one of Sprague River’s few businesses. He’s taking me to see where the homes have burned.

It smells of singed ponderosa pine, juniper and sagebrush.

Extreme Fire Danger Status In Central Oregon

Jul 12, 2014
http://wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com

The Fire status for bend, rural Deschutes county, crook and Jefferson counties have now entered Extreme Fire Danger Status. This weekend is calling for another round of significant lightning. The Oregon Department of Forestry is under regulated closure restrictions and those will remain in place for the duration of fire season. Currently, no backyard, commercial or agricultural burning is allowed within city limits of bend, and rural Deschutes County. Central Oregon residents are asked to contact local, state or federal fire agencies for specific requirements and closures.

North Lincoln Fire & Rescue

One firefighter was injured while battling a blaze that completely destroyed the historic Crab Pot Restaurant in Lincoln City Thursday.

Just before 3 p.m. Thursday, the restaurant called 911 to say their crab pot smoker caught fire and the blaze was spreading to the rest of their shop.

The fire started in the rear of the restaurant. There were explosions that may have been caused by propane tanks.

Marion County Sheriff's Department

The hot weather, along with the cool rivers and ocean, can be a deadly combination in the Northwest.  The near-drowning of a child in Oregon is a good reminder to practice water safety.

On Monday, an 8-year-old boy was swimming in Butte Creek in Scotts Mills Park. Marion County Sheriff Sergeant Chris Baldridge says the older brother and aunt were also in the water.

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