At approximately07:45 hours the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office and Malin Police responded to the report of an aircraft crash near Drazil Road and Pickett Road outside of the city of Malin. The crash is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) with assistance of the Sheriff’s Office. Initial reports indicate the crop duster came into contact with power lines. The pilot was located with minor injuries. Basin Ambulance and Malin Fire responded and transported.
SISTERS, Ore. – After three days with no additional perimeter growth and well-established control lines, the ODF Incident Management Team 2 will be handing management of the Graham Fire in Jefferson County back to Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District Wednesday morning.
Control lines around the fire’s perimeter have been mopped up to at least 50 feet. However, local residents may still expect to see occasional smoke from pockets of unburnt fuel smoldering in the fire’s interior. If residents see flames or spot fires they are advised to call 911.
Resources on the fire today include 10 hand crews, 2 helicopters, 17 engines, 1 dozer, 3 water tenders and 338 personnel. Containment is estimated at 85%.
ODF’s Central Oregon District will continue the use of additional engines and fire crews to achieve 100% containment. The District strategies will include daily engine patrols and mop up operations.
The Graham Fire was a hot, fast-moving wildfire driven by strong winds, dry conditions and light flashy fuels that burned in the wildland urban interface in and around the community of Three Rivers. The firestorm torched trees and produced 100’ flame lengths.
Thanks to the responsive efforts of local wildland and structural suppression forces as well as prior defensible space created by local residents, the fire was held to 2,175 acres.
Team 2 fire managers leave behind an excellent safety record. More than 300 personnel were assigned to the incident and no injuries were reported.
ODF’s Central Oregon District will continue to provide occasional updates on the fire status.
The Oregon State Police appreciates the prompt and thorough investigation by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and the subsequent review by the District Attorney’s Office.
Pursuant to OSP practices, we will immediately begin the due process procedure to modify Captain Fugate’s duty status to unpaid administrative leave- now that a charging instrument has been issued.
The agency will manage a concurrent personnel investigation into Captain Fugate’s employment status, so not to interfere with the criminal investigation. Any inquiries into the status of the criminal investigation should be referred to the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office.
Statement from Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton
“While Captain Fugate is entitled to due process, the Oregon State Police strongly condemns acts of domestic violence, which is especially alarming and disgraceful when involving a police officer. Conduct of this nature is grossly unacceptable and employees that engage in these actions have no place in law enforcement.”
CULVER, Ore. – Strong containment lines and diligent mop up operations have kept the perimeter of the Graham Fire in check. After two days with no new fire growth, the Jefferson County Sherriff has lowered the evacuation level to 1 (READY) and is allowing residents to return to their homes. The fire has burned 2,175 acres and is estimated at 65% containment.
Fire managers are focused on strengthening control lines and continuing mop up operations. Mop-up involves firefighters digging out hot spots and extinguishing all remaining heat. Crews start on the fire perimeter and move toward the center. It’s hard, methodical and dirty work but technology makes it more efficient. Firefighters use heat seeking cameras with infra-red technology to identify where the heat is hiding below ground.
“We will be judged by how well we leave this fire for the local district and residents. Mop up is hard dirty work. But it’s critically important to do it well. When we mop up right, we can hand the fire back to the local district knowing the perimeter will hold,” said Team 2 Incident Commander Chris Cline.
Seventy five people attended the public meeting last night at the Chinook Store, in Culver just east of the fire. The residents were very appreciative of their local volunteer fire fighters and the efforts of the Incident Management Team. Lake Chinook Fire Chief Don Colfels encouraged local residents to create 30 feet of defensible space around their homes to help it survive a wildfire.
Resources on the fire today (June 25) are: 7 hand crews, 5 helicopters, 13 engines, 1 dozer, 3 water tenders and 307 personnel.
Public information contact is Ashley Lertora; 503-338-8442.
OR 140: Buck Creek Bridge – Marcum & Sons Construction is beginning work to replace the Buck Creek Bridge (MP 22). Traffic will be controlled by a temporary signal and limited to a single lane. Work will take place Monday through Friday during daytime hours. Drivers can expect delays up to 10 minutes.
OR 240: Greensprings Interchange to Klamath Falls/Malin Hwy – Rocky Mountain Construction will be completing shoulder work, installing signs and concrete sidewalk. Minor delays are expected.
US 97: Algoma Road to Miller Island Road – Rocky Mountain Construction will be completing barrier, guardrail, earthwork and shoulder work at night between the hours of 7pm and 7am. The work zone will be controlled with flaggers and pilot cars. Drivers can expect delays up to 20 minutes.
US 97: Spring Creek Hill to Modoc Point – Rocky Mountain Construction will be paving between the hours of 7pm and 7am, Sunday night through Friday morning. The work zone will be controlled with flaggers and pilot cars. Drivers can expect delays up to 20 minutes.
As fire suppression tactics have increased containment and lowered the risk to structures, the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s resources will be released around noon today. The Oregon Department of Forestry team will remain with local resources to continue mopping up and monitoring any remaining hot spots.
Resources on the fire today are: 7 Hand crews, 6 Helicopters, 33 Engines, 1 Dozer, 8 Water tenders and 395 personnel. The estimated containment is 60% and 2,143 acres.
Today’s warmer temperatures and lower relative humidity may cause the fire to show more activity. Fire fighters are seeing juniper trees torch in the interior of fire. Air attack resources are available today to drop water on those trees if needed.
Lake Chinook Chief Don Colfels said, “Given the intensity of the fire and the strong winds driving it east, the fire had potential to leave dozens of families without a home today. Thanks to the work of our local crews, the support of other Central Oregon Agencies and state support from ODF and OSFM we were able to bring this fire to the more manageable state it is today. Additionally, because this community has worked hard to create defensible spaces many homes have been completely burned around and left intact”.
A public meeting is planned for Sunday, June 24 at 6:00 p.m. at the Chinook Store, 8241 SW Jordan Road in Culver. Residents are invited to hear from local officials to learn more about the fire and what they can do to protect their homes and lands in the future.
The Office of State Fire Marshal, Oregon fire service, Keep Oregon Green, the Pacific Northwest Wildfire Coordination Group, natural resource agencies, Oregon licensed fireworks wholesalers, and safety experts encourage Oregonians to “Keep it Legal and Keep it Safe” when using fireworks. The 2018 Oregon fireworks retail sales season opens Saturday, June 23 and runs through Friday, July 6. The OSFM and their partners want everyone to know which fireworks are legal to use in Oregon without a permit, where they are permitted to be used, and the important safety steps to take when using fireworks.
“I want to remind all Oregonians that consumer legal fireworks can only be purchased from Oregon permitted fireworks retailers and stands,” says State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “And, regulations limit where those fireworks may be used. Fire risk in Oregon is approaching extreme conditions and there is no room for error in fireworks safety.”
July 4th holiday public land visitors are advised to leave all fireworks at home. The use of fireworks is prohibited on all national forestland, Oregon state parks, and beaches. “It’s best to leave fireworks to the professionals,” states Keep Oregon Green President Kristin Babbs. “Support your local community by enjoying fireworks at sponsored events. If you choose to use fireworks at home, make sure they stay on the pavement and always keep a bucket of water nearby for safety and to extinguish spent fireworks.”
Oregon law prohibits possession, use, or sale of any firework that flies into the air, explodes, or travels more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground, without a permit issued by the OSFM. Fireworks commonly called bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers are illegal in Oregon, without a permit.
There were 318 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon during 2017, resulting in eight injuries and more than $861,000 in property damage. Over the past five years, from 2013 through 2017, there were 1,355 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon resulting in one death, 34 injuries, and more than $3 million in property damage.
Officials may seize illegal fireworks and charge offenders with a class B misdemeanor which could result in a fine of up to $2,500 per violation and a civil penalty of up to $500. Those who misuse fireworks or allow fireworks to cause damage are liable and may be required to pay fire suppression costs or other damage. Parents are also liable for fireworks damage caused by their children.
“All Oregonians share the responsibility to use only consumer legal fireworks and use them carefully,” adds Walker. And we encourage you to be aware and considerate of neighbors and their pets, before deciding on when and where you choose to light fireworks.”
The OSFM encourages everyone to use the four B’s of safe fireworks use:
Be Prepared before lighting fireworks: keep water available by using a garden hose or bucket.
Be Safe when lighting fireworks: keep children and pets away from fireworks.
Be Responsible after lighting fireworks: never relight a dud. Wait 15 to 20 minutes then soak it in a bucket of water before disposal.
Be Aware: use only legal fireworks and use them only in legal places.
The four B’s of fireworks safety brochure is available here:
The Oregon Department of Forestry Type 1 Team and Oregon State Fire Marshall Green Team took unified command of the fire on Friday at 6:00pm. Fire crews have made good progress battling the Graham Fire. The fire is estimated at approximately 2,055 acres and is burning in brush, timber and grass south of the Metolius River arm of Lake Billy Chinook near Culver, Oregon. Fire crews completed a burnout operation yesterday and will began mop up operations on Saturday. Today’s firefighting resources include: 7 hand crews, 26 Engines, 2 dozers, 4 water tenders, approximately 375 personnel and containment is estimated at 50%. Aircraft resources assigned to this fire are available to all fires in the area as needed.
Crews have set up fire camp at the Sisters Rodeo Grounds. Please use caution on Highway 20 near the rodeo grounds due to the additional fire traffic in the area.
The fire burned two residential structures and five out buildings, but many more were saved by local firefighting resources.
Further information regarding structure losses is not available at this time.
Due to ongoing fire danger Level 3 evacuations remain in effect for the Three Rivers subdivision. A staffed road block has been established near the Chinook Village Store restricting access to all except emergency personnel and credentialed media. For further information regarding evacuations, please refer to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Facebook site or call Jefferson County Sheriff at 541-475-6520.
Interested media are to report to the Lake Chinook Fire Station at 11700 Graham Rd where a Public Information Officer will be available10:30am—7:00pm.
There are three structure task forces from Clackamas, Marion, Washington, Lane and Multnomah counties and have been mobilized under the Conflagration Act and will provide 24-hour structure protection threatened by the fire. The fire is burning on private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry and Lake Chinook Fire and Rescue, as well as Bureau of Land Management ownership. The cause of the fire is attributed to the lightning storm that passed through the area last Wednesday.