fire

John Stapleton

A fire broke out at Eugene's Civic Stadium around 5:30. Crews responded immediately, but were unable to save the structure. Reporter Desmond O'Boyle spoke with Rachael McDonald, who was at the scene.

https://twitter.com/amberwilmarth

High temperatures and drought conditions in Oregon mean campers need to be extra vigilant this year to prevent forest fires. Willamette National Forest officials are worried about fireworks during the upcoming 4th of July holiday.

Kari Greer / U.S. Forest Service

The federal government is one step closer to changing the way it pays to fight wildfires. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley said the preliminary legislation was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday.

Wildfires are not treated the same as other natural disasters, such as floods and hurricanes. This forces the U.S. Forest Service to take money intended for fire prevention efforts, like thinning, and use it to fight fires. Under the new system, Senator Merkley explains the wildfire budget would be based on the 10-year average cost.

Albany Fire Department

A fire broke out early Wednesday morning in the cafeteria building at South Albany High School, causing more than $1-million in damage.     

The school district says no injuries were reported. Classes at South Albany High have been canceled until next week.

As many as seventy fire fighters from the region helped battle the blaze.

A number of student groups, including band, choir, dance and cheerleading, lost equipment that was stored in the building.

Governor Kate Brown stopped by the scene on her lunch break Wednesday to offer her support.

eugene.gov

The Eugene Springfield Fire Department is gearing up for a fire season that's expected to start early and end late. The Department always has an eye on the South Hills in case a fire breaks out.

The South Hills in Eugene and Springfield has the most trees and more difficult topography to navigate around. Every year the Fire Department updates evacuation routes and containment strategies for that area. Al Gerard is the Fire Marshal for Eugene / Springfield. He says the merger of the two departments has helped response efforts.

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.

Inciweb

Hot, dry, windy weather is forecast for the next few days in Oregon. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning for most of the state.

Matthew Cullin is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland. He says the most of the state will be at risk for fires to spark and grow rapidly through Saturday.

Cullin: "Most notably it's hot and it's very dry. The relative humilities are going to be very low which promotes fire growth, if you were to have a spark, it would rapidly be able to start a fire. So, along with that, we have quite gusty winds."

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.

Kyle Huges.

UPDATE: 5:15pm

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."

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