Monthly Archives: July 2018

Klamath Hills Fire Update 7-19-18 4:30PM

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Investigators from ODF, KCFD1, and BLM look for clues regarding the fire’s cause at a point of origin off Lower Klamath Lake Road


UPDATE: As of 4pm, the Klamath Hills Fire is still estimated at 75 acres. Although the heat is a concern for firefighter safety, ground crews, with support from air resources, are making good progress with containment, which has increased to 20%. Firefighters will conduct burnout operations in rocky terrain on the southern flank this afternoon to help strengthen and hold containment lines.

Responders will be actively working the fire for the rest of the day and into the evening. They are also still investigating the cause of the fire. Additional fire starts were reported late this morning along Tingley Lane, but were quickly suppressed; it is unclear if they are related. Lower Klamath Lake Road remains closed for responder use only; no other closures or evacuations are necessary at this time.

Responding agencies to the Klamath Hills Fire include Oregon Department of Forestry, Klamath County Fire District 1, Fremont-Winema National Forest, BLM Lakeview District/Klamath Falls Resource Area, Kingsley Field Fire, Klamath County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management, Merrill Police Department, and Oregon State Police.

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Media Release: Lower Klamath Lake Fire

Lower Lake Fire July 19, 2018

At approximately 0930 this morning agencies were dispatched to multiple fire starts along Lower Klamath Lake Road, just southeast of the intersection with Cross Road. One of the starts took off uphill across private lands and is burning in dry grass and light fuels in an easterly direction towards BLM lands. No structures are threatened at this time, but Klamath County Sheriff’s Deputies have alerted six residences to be aware of the situation. The cause of the fire is under investigation by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), with assistance from the Sheriff’s Office

A Unified Command between Klamath County Fire District 1 and ODF has been established. Ground and air resources are actively attacking the fire, and therefore Lower Klamath Lake Road is closed to allow responders safe access to the scene.

Fire danger in our local region is rated High at this time – however, ODF will be categorizing fire danger as EXTREME starting tomorrow, July 20; other agencies may follow shortly thereafter. The best place to find information about wild fires in South Central Oregon is the Fire Management Partnership.


Governor declares state of emergency

Moro, OR – July 18, 2018 – The Substation Fire started southeast of The Dalles on Tuesday afternoon and moved further east today. Firefighters saw heightened activity on the north and the south end of the fire. More than 50,000 acres in Sherman and Wasco Counties are affected.

Level 3 evacuations (“Go”) increased to include Moro; level 2 evacuations (“Be Ready”) grew to include the community of Wasco, south to the community of Kent and several miles east. More than 900 homes are in the Level 2 and level 3 areas.  A Red Cross shelter open at The Dalles Middle School at 1100 E. 12th St in The Dalles.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency due to the ongoing threat of wildfire and increasing wildfire activity. The declaration makes available resources from around the state, and from outside of Oregon if necessary.

As of Wednesday afternoon 178 firefighters from 32 agencies across Oregon are focused on protecting structures in the line of the fire.  Additional resources continue to arrive from around the state.

A wide variety of flying air tankers have been deployed to fight the Substation Fire. These include:

• Two 750-gallon capacity “Fire Bosses”

• Two ”Super Scooper” air tankers, capable of which are “scooping” 12,000 gallons of water from the Columbia River to drop on the fire

• A heavy air tanker which drops retardant on the fire

• Two Type-2 helicopters

A VLAT (Very Large Air Tanker), which can carry 12,000 gallons of water, was also deployed.

“I saw neighbors helping neighbors and firefighters going the extra mile to bring this fire under control,” said Public Information Officer Damon Simmons. “While these fires are awful, they show the true spirit of the local residents and Oregonians in general.”

Hwy 97 has been closed intermittently. Travelers are advised to check ODOT TripCheck for up-to-date information.

The Wasco Co. Sheriff’s Office confirmed one civilian fatality as a result of exposure to the fire.

A hotline for Substation Fire information has been established: 503-597-8076

South Central Oregon Wildland Firefighters Continue Response to Three Days of Persistent Lightning Caused Fires.


LAKEVIEW, Ore. – South central Oregon wildland firefighters responded to a third day of persistent lightning caused fires.

During the last 24 hours wildland firefighters responded to another nine confirmed lightning caused fires. This brings the total to 58 fires in the last 72 hours. Over 2,000 lightning strikes in the last three days kept firefighters working as a team to coordinate a response to each fire start.

The 50 acre Blue Creek Fire is located at the south western base of Spodue Mountain and is now the largest incident from the last 72 hours. Oregon Department of Forestry responded to the fire with assistance from Fremont-Winema National Forest. One heavy air tanker, five Single Engine Air Tankers, three helicopters, 10 firefighting engines, two water tenders and two bulldozers were used in the full suppression response. The fire is now 15% contained and firefighting efforts continue.

Firefighters continue hold the Holbrook fire at 41 acres, which is located approximately eight miles south east of Gerber Reservoir. Lakeview District Bureau of Land Management is the lead agency. Firefighters continued their full suppression response with assistance from Fremont-Winema National Forest and Oregon Department of Forestry. The Holbrook fire is now 25% contained.

Although only seven acres, the Tiny Creek fire was also of note due to fire managers deciding to utilize a managed fire technique to control the fire. The lightning caused fire is approximately eight miles west of the Highway 97 and 138 junction near Chemult. Fire mangers analyzed the fire and made the determination that conditions were conducive to allow the fire to reduce dangerous fuels in the area, similar to a prescribed fire. Fire crews utilized existing roads as control lines and actively managed the fire by bringing it out to the establishing control lines. Firefighters allowed the fire to consume the heavier fuels and ensured no hot spots threaten the line. Crews will continue to suppress any lingering embers over the next few days.

Over the past three days, partnerships at all levels allowed for the effective response demonstrated by all partner agencies to the numerous lightning caused fires.
Community safety and that of our firefighters is the number one priority for all SCOFMP employees.

South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership provides comprehensive fire services to more than eight million acres of land administered by Lakeview District Bureau of Land Management; Fremont-Winema National Forest; Oregon Department of Forestry Klamath-Lake District; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex; and National Park Service Crater Lake National Park. The area encompasses federal, state and private lands within south central Oregon and northwest Nevada.

by Klamath Alerts 7-18-18

ODOT Construction Update – Klamath Area

Region 4 Weekly Construction Update

Week of July 16, 2018

The Oregon Department of Transportation is committed to providing a safe, efficient transportation system. ODOT invests in Oregon’s future through roadway improvement projects. The following projects are located in ODOT’s Region 4 encompassing Central Oregon from The Dalles to Klamath Falls on the east side of the Cascades.

All work is dependent on weather conditions and schedules are subject to change.

Where traffic is routed through or around a work zone, pedestrians, including those with disabilities, will also be provided alternate routes through the work zone.

Klamath County

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 140: Brown Creek (Beatty) – La Duke Construction will be completing shoulder work. Expect minor delays.

OR 140: 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 – No work expected this week.

US 97: Spring Creek Hill to Modoc Point – Rocky Mountain Construction will be paving between the hours of 7pm and 7am, Sunday and Monday night. The work zone will be controlled with flaggers and pilot cars. Drivers can expect delays up to 20 minutes.

Klamath County Road Construction Update


Klamath County will have work crews at the following locations. Please use caution when in these areas and watch for flaggers. If you are able to avoid these work zones, please use alternate routes for your safety and the safety of Klamath County employees.

Chip Seal Crew

West Langell Valley Road – July 16th Town of Bonanza – July 16th – July 18th Harpold Road – July 18th – July 19th

4:00 AM – Early Morning Broom Crew

West Langell Valley Road – July 17th – July 18th Town of Bonanza – July 17th – July 19th Harpold Road – July 19th – July 20th

Paint Crew

Harpold Road

Schaupp Road

Gerber Road

Northern Klamath County Roads

In general, flagging stations will be set up at the end of the work zone and delays will be 0 to 20 minutes for the motoring public. Other minor work is occurring through the County but we are only listing the major items in this announcement.

There may be adjustments of work schedules due to weather or other items outside of the County’s control (breakdown of equipment, material/resource availability, etc.) Please do not contact the County if you do not see work occurring, it could be finished already or will be rescheduled.

Please drive slow through Chip Seal and Paint Stripe areas. This will reduce damage to the Chip Sealed and Painted areas. It will also reduce the probability of oil or paint getting on your vehicle.

Klamath County Public Works and the Board of County Commissioners appreciate the motoring publics’ patience during the repair season for our local roads and bridges. If you have any questions regarding work, please contact the Public Works Department at (541) 883- 4696.

South Central Oregon Wildland Firefighters Respond to Numerous Lightning Fires


LAKEVIEW, Ore. – South central Oregon wildland firefighters responded to numerous lightning caused fires over the weekend.

As of 5 p.m. today, wildland firefighters have responded to over 20 confirmed fires caused by lighting.

The six acre Randy fire is located approximately eight miles east of Bonanza and the largest incident from the weekend. Lakeview District Bureau of Land Management is the lead agency responding to the Randy fire and has initiated a full suppression response with assistance from Fremont-Winema National Forest and Oregon Department of Forestry.

Firefighters from all partner agencies assisted with the weekend response to the numerous lightning strikes. Crater Lake National Park was especially hit hard with eight of the lighting starts.

Firefighting efforts were bolstered by advanced planning performed by fire managers in prepositioning additional resources that were requested in preparation for the forecasted lightning strikes.

Current forecasts indicate a reduced probability of lighting over the next few days with additional strikes possible in the middle or latter part of the week.
Community safety and that of our firefighters is the number one priority for all SCOFMP employees.

The South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership provides comprehensive fire services to more than eight million acres of land administered by Lakeview District Bureau of Land Management; Fremont-Winema National Forest; Oregon Department of Forestry Klamath-Lake District; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge and Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge; and National Park Service Crater Lake National Park. The area encompasses federal, state and private lands within south central Oregon and northwest Nevada.

by Klamath Alerts

Weather Outlook: Widespread Thunderstorms Possible Today

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Weather Outlook for July 15th, 2018 – Thunderstorms

Heat, monsoon moisture, and atmospheric instability will favor widespread thunderstorm development over our region today. Based on forecasts from the NWS the storms should start to fire around 2pm today.

Dry conditions on the ground with gusty winds near thunderstorms could create dangerous conditions for new fire starts. Fire crews are watching this close. A red flag warning is also in effect today over the region for dangerous fire conditions.

If you are outdoors today keep in mind new fires can start and spread quickly with the current conditions we have. We should see widespread thunderstorm activity this afternoon over Northern California and Southern Oregon. The activity will mostly be east of the Cascades according to current forecasts.

by Klamath Alerts


Serious injury accident on HWY 97 near Madras in construction zone

On July 12, 2018 at about 9:00 p.m., Troopers from the Bend Area Command responded to a three vehicle injury crash occuring on Highway 97 near milepost 101, south of Madras.  Knife River Construction is repaving this section of Highway 97 and was active in the zone when the crash occured. The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2006 Silver Saturn ION, operated by 23 year old Portland resident Casandra Monsivais, was traveling southbound on Highway 97 near milepost 101, and for unknown reasons, was unable to stop in time before crashing into stopped vehicles waiting for the construction zone to open to southbound traffic.  The Saturn rear ended a silver 2013 Dodge Ram truck, operated by 27 year old Spokane resident, Kelty Godby.  The impact to the Dodge then pushed it into a 2014 Subara Crosstrack, operated by 57 year old Chiloquin resident Timothy Parrish. The passengers of the Saturn, were identified as 20 year old Portland resident Rachel Reed and 18 year old Gresham resident Hailee Owen, and were both injured in the crash.  Reed was transported to a Bend area hospital by air ambulance for life threatening injuries and Owen was transported via ground ambulance for non-lifethreatening injuries.  The other involved occupants of the involved vehicles were all treated for minor injuries and later released.OSP was assisted at the scene by Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, ODOT, Jefferson County Fire District #1 and the Knife River Construction Flagging Crew.

McDonald’s Salad Scare: Possibly linked to parasite. Cases in Illinois and Iowa so far.


McDonald’s Salads are possibly linked to an illness caused by a parasite. So far cases have been reported in Illinois and Iowa. According to reports McDonalds is cooperating with the CDC and the FDA regarding the outbreak.

If you want to read more on this story click here for a report from USA Today. There have not been any cases reported in Oregon yet, but this is good information to be aware of.

Klamath Alerts 

100 Salmonella outbreak cases in 31 states including Oregon linked to Honey Smacks

The CDC says there are now 100 (30 required hospitalization) cases of Salmonella linked to Kellogg’s Honey Smacks. Two cases have been reported in Oregon. You can read the CDC information here This all started in March and was finally announced in June. It appears according to a CNN article that recalled Honey Smacks are still being sold illegally. If you have this cereal in your pantry please check it’s recall status.

By Klamath Alerts 7/12/18


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Recreational use health advisory for Lake Billy Chinook expanded to include entire lake

The Oregon Health Authority has updated a recreational use health advisory issued June 22 for Lake Billy Chinook.

The original advisory extended from the cove at Perry South Campground to the southern tip of Chinook Island due to the presence of a cyanobacteria (harmful algae) bloom and the toxins they can produce. Based on the most recent data available to the Oregon Health Authority from other areas of the lake, the advisory is being expanded to include all three arms of Lake Billy Chinook. The lake is located about 12 miles west of Madras in Jefferson County.

Water monitoring has confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria and the toxins they produce in the Metolius, Deschutes and Crooked River arms of Lake Billy Chinook. The cyanotoxin concentrations found can be harmful to humans and animals.

People should avoid swimming and high-speed water activities such as water skiing or power boating in areas of the lake where cyanotoxins are identified. Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people who have skin sensitivities may experience a puffy red rash at the affected area.

Drinking water directly from this area of the lake at this time is especially dangerous. OHA public health officials advise campers and other recreational visitors that toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating water with camping-style filters.

There are no public systems that use water from Lake Billy Chinook for drinking water; however, anyone who may be drawing in-home water directly from the lake is advised to use an alternate water source because private treatment systems are not proven effective for removing cyanotoxins. Individuals on a domestic well should not be affected by the bloom or toxins. If community members have questions about water available at nearby campgrounds and parks, they should contact campground management.

Oregon health officials recommend that those who choose to eat fish from waters where cyanobacteria (harmful algae) blooms are present remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking, as toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues. Fillets should also be rinsed with clean water. Public health officials also advise people to not eat freshwater clams or mussels from Lake Billy Chinook and that Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations do not allow the harvest of these shellfish from freshwater sources. Crayfish muscle can be eaten, but internal organs and liquid fat should be discarded.

Exposure to cyanotoxins can produce a variety of symptoms including numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems, and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting should also receive medical attention if they persist or worsen. Children and pets are at increased risk for exposure because of their size and level of activity. People who bring their pets to Lake Billy Chinook for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in the lake.

The advisory will be lifted when the concern no longer exists.

With proper precautions to avoid exposure to affected water, people are encouraged to visit this area of Lake Billy Chinook and enjoy activities such as fishing, camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, and bird watching. Boating is safe as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray, which could lead to inhalation risk.

For health information or to report an illness, contact the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) at 971-673-0440.

OHA maintains an updated list of all health advisories on its website. To learn if an advisory has been issued or lifted for a specific water body, visit the Harmful Algae Blooms website at and select “algae bloom advisories,” or call the Oregon Public Health Division toll-free information line at 877-290-6767.

Klamath Alerts 7/11/18

173rd FW to host Cascadia Airlift Exercise

Cascadia Airlift Logo

KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. – The 173rd Fighter Wing will host a Cascadia Airlift Exercise beginning Thursday, July 12 through Sunday, July 15.

U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and Airmen from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. will arrive here on Thursday to participate in the exercise.  Airmen from the 173rd FW will practice loading and unloading cargo on to the C-130Js, giving the wing the opportunity to evaluate their aerial logistics hub capabilities in the event of a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake.

“The exercise will test many elements in an aerial logistics plan:  aircraft arrival plans, parking plans, cargo loading, as well as fuel and maintenance support,” said Colonel Jeff Edwards, 173rd FW Vice Commander.  “After the exercise, lessons learned will be developed to identify opportunities to improve.”

Additionally, the C-130Js will fly with Oregon Air National Guard F-15 Eagles in Dissimilar Air Combat Training scenarios.  DACT provides pilots the opportunity to train with and against an aircraft different their own.

“This will be a great way to foster key partnerships, develop lessons learned, and improve response capability,” said Edwards.

According to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, the Cascadia Subduction Zone is a 600-mile fault that runs from northern California up to British Columbia, and is about 70-100 miles off the Pacific coast shoreline.  There are concerns that an earthquake on this fault could potentially cause massive destruction for much of Oregon.  As such, many of the local, state, and federal agencies are evaluating ways to improve their preparedness for such an event.

For questions or concerns, please contact the wing’s public affairs office at 541-885-6677.

Klamath Alerts 7/11/18




July 10, 2018, SALEM, OREGON: Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) thanks the president, Congressman Walden, and all of those who worked to end the injustice done to Steven and Dwight Hammond by granting them clemency. While nobody can restore what they’ve lost to this prosecutorial overreach and bureaucratic vendetta, we are happy that this awful chapter will be coming to a close soon.

OFB has publicly advocated for the Hammonds, including gathering over 25,000 online signatures, and also supported clemency through officials in Oregon and Washington, D.C.

OFB President Barry Bushue said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Steven and Dwight as they get back to the people and the land they love. We will continue to do whatever we can to ensure that this injustice is never repeated.”

The federal judge who heard the Hammonds’ case, Michael Hogan, said in his ruling that a five-year prison sentence is “grossly disproportionate to the severity of [petitioners’] offenses.” He added that it does “not meet any idea I have of justice, proportionately” and “would shock the conscious to me.” Hogan also noted that the 1996 Anti-Terrorism & Effective Death Penalty Act was never meant to apply to ranchers simply trying to protect their land.

We agree.

Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) is a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonprofit, general farm organization representing the interests of farming and ranching families in the public and policymaking arenas. First established in Oregon in 1919, Farm Bureau is organized in all 36 counties and has nearly 7,000 farm and ranch family members.

Oregon Farm Bureau President Barry Bushue is a third-generation farmer raising pumpkins, u-pick produce, and flowering baskets at a nearly century-old farm near Boring. He is OFB’s 15th president.

Klamath Alerts 7/10/18

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