Disasters & Accidents

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.

www.corvallisoregon.gov

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.

oregonstate.edu

September is National Preparedness Month and a series of emergency response events has been taking place across the state. Tomorrow (Tuesday) congressman Peter DeFazio will host an earthquake early warning roundtable at the U of O.

As the ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Congressman DeFazio introduced a federal bill to fund an earthquake early warning system for the west coast. The roundtable is an official committee hearing. Scott Ashford, Dean of Engineering at OSU, studies the effects to utilities and services in an emergency:

inciweb

Fire crews battling the Canyon Creek Complex of fires near John Day say people who've been evacuated for weeks can now return to their homes. Evacuation alerts were lifted Wednesday but some residents must still be on notice to leave if conditions change.

Thousands of farm workers living in wildfire country are particularly vulnerable in times of emergency. One problem is that warnings in Spanish don’t reach everyone that needs to hear them.

wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com

High winds are fueling the Canyon Creek Complex Fires this weekend.

Les Zaitz/AP

When Oregon families lose their homes in a wildfire, they can now get a little help rebuilding. The new “Wildfire Damage Housing Relief Account” is open.

Oregon Representative Mike McLane calls it a way to “fill the gap” when families lose everything to wildfire. He sponsored House Bill 3148 to provide assistance in the form of small grants to those eligible. 

The money, $5,000 per household, is meant to supplement insurance and personal savings. Eligibility is based on income levels.

Northwest wildfires have had widespread effects on travel and air quality. Another unfortunate consequence is a critically low blood supply.

Several compounding factors have squeezed the blood supply. Mobile donation drivers can’t get to some rural sites, and university and high school drives aren’t yet running. There are other reasons, too, says Cynthia Vignos of the Lane Blood Center:

For Fire Crews in Chelan, Safety A Top Priority

Aug 23, 2015
Courtney Flatt

Fire crews Saturday had an easier time with wind in North Central Washington. That meant it was easier to fight the Chelan Complex. It also meant the area had unhealthy levels of smoke. Correspondent Courtney Flatt talked with fire crews protecting homes on the Lake Chelan’s south shore.

Smoke rises from a smoldering fire a few feet away from a mobile home on Lake Chelan. Helicopters continuously dip water from the lake and dump it on hot spots. The area is still under a mandatory evacuation order. The fire, called First Creek, is two percent contained.

Haze Settles Over Western Oregon

Aug 23, 2015
Anni Katz

Monday’s air quality is slightly improved in Eugene, Springfield and Cottage Grove. Oakridge continues to have unhealthy levels of particulate matter due to smoke from the area’s wildfires. That’s according to the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency.

wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com

The Canyon Creek Complex fire is still growing, but shelters are closing up and people are heading home after days away.

OPB

Gusty winds and heat are challenging crews fighting fires in the northwest. More than 327-thousand acres are burning in Oregon. And nearly 2-thousand homes are threatened. The Canyon Creek Complex Fire near John Day in eastern Oregon has destroyed 36 homes.

Oregon Governor Brown Tours Canyon Creek Fire

Aug 20, 2015
Amanda Peacher / OPB

Oregon Governor Kate Brown toured the Canyon Creek Complex Fire near John Day Wednesday. The fire continues to grow and is currently the number one fire priority in the nation.

Governor Brown viewed the wreckage of some of the 36 homes that were consumed by the fire last week.

BROWN: "I think Oregonians are willing to step up to the plate and assist this community. But I have to say I know the residents of Grant County they are tough and resilient. They're going to survive and rebuild.  

John Stapleton

Of all the natural elements—fire seems to elicit our most primal responses. Human fascination with fire starts early and some research reveals the less we learn about fire as kids—the stronger our curiosity grows into adulthood. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert takes a look at societal views and how we educate children about the function and the dangers of fire.

OPB

Three firefighters have been killed, and four others were injured this afternoon battling a wildfire in North Central Washington.

Sgt. Tianna Waite, 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs.

With wildfires raging across the state, Governor Kate Brown has activated the Oregon National Guard to assist in firefighting efforts.

The Oregon National Guard has already been deployed this summer to help fight wildfires, using four Blackhawk helicopters equipped with 500 gallon water buckets. Now Governor Brown is calling in more troops as the fires spread and resources are maxed out across the west. About 125 soldiers will begin training this week in Salem. 

inciweb

With resources stretched thin across the northwest, fire officials are asking the public to help prevent new fires. Triple-digit temperatures and tinder dry conditions mean just a spark could lead to a major wildfire.

kval.com

Firefighters continue to battle a wildfire sparked Wednesday afternoon near Eugene. The Chambers Mill fire, about three miles south of Lorane, has worsened local air quality. Firefighters worked through the night, bulldozing a line around most of the perimeter. Cynthia Orlando is with the Oregon Department of Forestry, which is fighting the fire:

Stouts Creek Fire Facebook page

Oregon's biggest wildfire is 40 percent contained. The Stouts Creek Fire in Douglas County has burned more than 23 thousand acres.

Lane Blood Center

The Lane Blood Center needs donations, and they want to help wildland firefighters. They're hoping the community will answer the call with two charity events this month.

With people on summer vacation and college students away until the fall, there are fewer blood donors available. And local traumas have depleted inventories of o blood types.

Vignos: "We need O types, which is O negative and O positive. And we also need A positive blood right now."

That's Cynthia Vignos with Lane Blood Center.

Karen Richards

A recent article in the New Yorker and the July Fourth earthquake near Springfield have generated concern for the potential of a massive Cascadia event in the Northwest. Scientists at the U of O have been working to strengthen Oregon’s early warning systems.

Tiffany Eckert

The Eugene-Springfield Fire Department is being praised today (Thursday) for saving the two businesses closest to the Southtowne Lanes Bowling Alley that was completely destroyed by fire Wednesday. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert spoke with business owners as they assessed the damage.

Dave Nelkin owns Eugene coin and jewelry. A day after the fire, staff were packing up merchandise so that they can begin cleaning up the smoke and water damage.

Tiffany Eckert

The Eugene-Springfield Fire Department is being praised today (Thursday) for saving the two businesses closest to the Southtowne Lanes Bowling Alley that was completely destroyed by fire Wednesday. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert spoke with business owners as they assessed the damage.

Dave Nelkin owns Eugene coin and jewelry. A day after the fire, staff were packing up merchandise so that they can begin cleaning up the smoke and water damage.

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