Disasters & Accidents

Disaster Preparedness Training For Eugene Citizens

Sep 22, 2014
KLCC

Disaster Preparedness Training is available free to the Eugene/Springfield community, Tuesday. Citizens can learn about simple ways to be ready for situations when first responders are limited.

Oregon Military Dept.

More than fifty fires continue to burn in the West. Efforts this summer to change how the federal government pays for fire suppression hasn't moved forward. And that has one Oregon lawmaker speaking out.

The Obama Administration has proposed paying for wildfire suppression the same way the federal government responds to natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes.  

Oregon Department of Forestry

The Yellow Point Fire, burning about 25 miles west of Cottage Grove is now 45% contained.  The Oregon Department of Forestry says crews have run more than 25 miles of hose.  Water is being distributed to the line.  Spokeswoman Shirl Fredenburg says crews are working hard to wet the area around the fire ahead of a forecast red flag weather warning.

 “Low humidity and dry, hot weather… that could be a factor.  But they have high expectations that they’ll keep it under control.”

Inciweb

Firefighters in Oregon are bracing for dry, hot weather expected back in the region Thursday and through the weekend.

The Deception Complex of fires outside Oakridge is 64 percent contained. It's burned more than 48 hundred acres. Fire spokeswoman Sara Saarloos says crews have made good progress mopping up containment lines. They're preparing for fire weather.

Saarloos: "With that warming and drying trend we'll start seeing an increase in fire behavior. We do still have some fire in the interior of the Deception Fire."

Oregon Department of Forestry

Smoke from regional wildfires drifted into the Willamette Valley this weekend, causing hazy conditions. The air quality may be affected through mid-week.

The smell of smoke was strong in the South Willamette Valley this weekend. Air quality monitors were at moderate for Eugene /Springfield and up to unhealthy for Oakridge.  Sarah Saarloos is with the Deception Complex of Fires:

Corvallis Gazette-Times

The Yellow Point Fire, which broke out Friday afternoon, is roughly 220 acres. It's located about 25 miles west of Cottage Grove. No homes or structures are threatened and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The blaze is burning in timber and logging slash in a remote area near the historic 1966 Oxbow Fire. Due to excessive traffic, smoky conditions and narrow roads, the public is encouraged to stay clear of the area. A late-night wildfire that tore through brush near Corvallis was extinguished Saturday morning after it forced the evacuation of more than 200 homes.

@FOX12Oregon via twitter

10:25 AM UPDATE:

Firefighters have the fire 70% contained at 3:00 a.m., and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) used a bulldozer to fully contain the fire by 5:00 a.m.

www.inciweb.nwcg.gov

The Deception Complex fire near Oakridge and a small fire in the Coast Range are keeping almost a thousand firefighters busy.

A fire in the Cape Perpetua scenic area was reported Monday evening. As of Tuesday a 20-person crew was working to contain the half-acre blaze, which is in a drainage of Cummins Creek. According to officials, there are no closures. The cause of the fire is unknown and will be investigated.

Inciweb

The Deception Creek Complex of wildfires in the Willamette National Forest near Oakridge is now 55 percent contained. It has burned more than 2,200 acres.

Department of Forestry

The Deception Complex Fire burning west of Oakridge is now 55% contained. The 2,000 acre collection of wildfires was buffeted by strong winds late Friday causing the fire to burn near ridge tops, but ground lines held. The Deception Creek Mobile Home Park, the Middle Fork Ranger Station, and some houses along the La Duke Road remain on a level 2 evacuation notice.

www.inciweb.nwcg.gov

The Deception Complex fire near Oakridge is now 45 percent contained. However, it moved west Thursday night, causing some closures for the long weekend.

Part of the Cottage Grove Ranger District is under an emergency closure. An area southeast of Forest Service Road 17 is closed from Spirit Falls to the divide. Pam Sichting is with the U.S. Forest Service. She says archery season opens this weekend, and bow hunters should stay current with fire updates:

Summer is ending, but fire season in the Northwest is still with us. The Oregon Gulch fire was southern Oregon’s largest so far this season, blackening nearly 56 square miles of southern Oregon and northern California. Several homes were lost, others were saved and a rural mountain community came face-to-face with the reality of sudden danger and loss. In Ashland, Jefferson Public Radio’s Liam Moriarty traces the path the fire took as it marked the lives of those it touched.

Oregon Department of Forestry

A wildfire burning in the Willamette National Forest close to Oakridge [Oregon] is about 53% contained. The smoke is causing unhealthy breathing conditions in the surrounding areas. The blaze which is threatening a mobile home park and a ranger district compound.

The bodies of three family members were retrieved Tuesday from Hagg Lake west of Portland. They were relatives of a 3-year-old boy who died Monday after being taken unconscious from the lake.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Bob Ray says the Hillsboro family members were found about 25 yards from where the boy’s body was found. They included his mother, grandmother, and the boy’s 13-year-old uncle.  

The victims were not wearing life jackets, Ray says. There was no evidence of foul play.  Sergeant Ray says the investigation is ongoing.

http://defazio.house.gov/

U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon plans to use a rare procedure to force a vote on a bill to increase federal funding to fight wildfires. This as the U-S Forest Service is close to surpassing its firefighting budget for the year.

Central Oregon Fire Info

Fire season is calming down in the Northwest. Officials have dropped their preparedness level to 4. The region was at level 5 for 31 days-- an all time record.

More than 8 thousand firefighters were battling 21 large fires in Oregon and Washington at the height of this fire season. Linda Hecker is with the Northwest Fire Coordination Center in Portland. She says things are calming down, which has allowed officials to reduce the region's preparedness level.

Schin Haakenson / Inciweb

Monday night's lightning sparked several small forest fires east of Eugene. A red flag warning is in effect for most of Oregon through Tuesday with high temperatures and more thunderstorms expected.

Oregon Department of Forestry crews are battling a 20 acre blaze near Dexter. Officials say it isn't threatening any structures. ODF spokesman Nick Hennemann says crews are working to put the fire out as quickly as possible. It's unclear how many other small fires were sparked by lightning overnight.

Kyle Huges.

UPDATE: 5:15pm

kdrv.com

The Oregon Department of Forestry is preparing for another round of lightning strikes this weekend, which could spark additional wildfires. Lightning moved through the southern parts of the state yesterday sparking several blazes.

The Salt Creek Fire is the largest fire sparked, approximately 10-miles west of Shady Cove, along with two other smaller fires in the same vicinity. Oregon Department of Forestry Spokeswoman Jeri Chase says the lightning has been starting in southwest Oregon, then moves into the Cascades, and shifts into either the central or eastern parts of the State.

Schin Haakenson / Inciweb

Most of the major wildfires burning in Oregon are at or near containment, but a new round of intense lightning storms is forecast this week.

Fire officials say 6 of the 11 large wildfires in Oregon now range from 80 percent to fully contained. The blazes are burning east of the Cascades.
Carol Connolly with the Northwest Coordination Center says lightning is expected for the next couple of days.

Central Oregon Fire Info

Fires continue to rage through tinder-dry wildlands in Oregon, Washington and California. Nearly a million acres have burned so far, destroying more than 2-hundred homes. With the nation’s eyes turned toward the Northwest, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and the Obama Administration have taken the opportunity to renew their efforts to change how the federal government pays to fight -- and prevent – wildfires.

In a conference call from Washington DC, Wyden said fire season in the West is changing, and fast.

Oregon State Police

A Benton County Sheriff's Office deputy found a vehicle Thursday morning down an embankment off Highway 34 belonging to an elderly Waldport man reported missing the day before to Lincoln County Sheriff's Office. The man was rescued from his vehicle northeast of Alsea and taken to a Corvallis hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Oregon State Police is investigating the crash and the man's family was notified that he was found safe.

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.

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