Monthly Archives: October 2018

ODF Declares Oregon 2018 Fire Season Over

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SALEM — The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), which protects roughly 16 million acres of private, state and federal lands, officially declared the end of fire season statewide yesterday, Oct. 29.

For ODF, fire season is declared and terminated at the district level, based on local fire danger conditions. Of the Department’s 12 districts across the state, Central Oregon and Southwest Oregon Districts saw drier, warmer conditions early on, officially kicking off the season June 1. Over the course of the 2018 fire season, ODF and its forest protective association partners suppressed a total of 1,059 fires. An estimated 75,531 acres burned on ODF-protected land this year, more than doubling the 10-year average.

Oregon’s complete and coordinated wildfire protection system — consisting of ODF, landowner partners, agency cooperators, and the fire contracting community — was successful under extremely challenging conditions this year. In spite of statewide drought conditions, ODF and partners again succeeded in keeping 95% of all wildfires to less than 10 acres with aggressive and successful initial attacks.

From mid-June through much of September, a combination of historically high temperatures and near-record low precipitation levels and fuel moistures resulted in a significant fire activity increase across the state, in spite of an above-average snowpack and precipitation the previous winter. Dry lightning storms were a contributing factor.

More than 2,800 lightning strikes in mid-July ignited hundreds of starts, at least seven of which became large fires in southwest Oregon. Another lightning event in August with 2,335 strikes ignited hundreds of starts in central and eastern Oregon. Of these hundreds of starts, the majority were caught and contained in initial attack, with only eight large fires established in central Oregon.

“With numerous large fires and limited resources across the nation, the 2018 fire season brought real challenges,” said ODF Interim Deputy Chief for Fire Operations, Russ Lane. “For ODF, we also saw a number of successes. Thanks to aggressive and safe firefighting, we were able to keep several potentially large fires small in scale while keeping firefighter injuries to a minimum. We are grateful for our partnerships and their invaluable roles within Oregon’s complete and coordinated fire protection system, including forest landowners, rural fire districts, and federal and state partners.”

Nationally, as well as in Oregon and Washington, we were at Preparedness Level 5 (the highest level) for 32 days, 8 days shorter than the record-holding 2017 fire season, Increased wildland fire activity on the national level required major commitment of limited resources, adding complexity to an already dynamic fire season.

With the transition out of fire season, ODF districts across the state are shifting their attention to wildfire prevention efforts. Working with partners, landowners and members of the public, the shared objective is to minimize potential fuels for the coming fire season, mitigating risk while remaining vigilant with any activity associated with fire.

“Fire prevention remains our top priority,” Lane said. “Human-caused fires — especially debris burning and illegal, abandoned campfires — continue to raise concern, and we are focusing outreach and messaging efforts there alongside our partner Keep Oregon Green. Combined with fuel reduction and mitigation, we are constantly looking for new ways to raise awareness and support Oregonians in our shared objective to reduce wildfire and keep Oregon green.”

Secretary Of The Air Force To Tour Kingsley Field And Scheduled To Fly In F-15 Eagle

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KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. – The Secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, will visit the 173rd Fighter Wing this weekend.  Secretary Wilson will the tour base, meet with Airmen, and see the mission first-hand when she flies in the backseat of an F-15 Eagle.

“We are fortunate to host the Secretary of the Air Force this weekend,” says Col. Jeff Smith, 173rd FW commander.  “As I say to all of our visitors, ‘seeing is believing!’ Once leaders see the base, meet the people, and experience the community support, they leave with a better understanding of what makes Kingsley Field so unique and valuable.”

As Secretary of the Air Force, Wilson is s responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its more than 670,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen and their families.

This is the first time in 173rd Fighter Wing history, that a Secretary of the Air Force has visited Kingsley Field.

“This is an important visit for the base and future mission consideration,” adds Smith.

Secretary Wilson will fly with the unit in an F-15 Eagle on Sunday around 10 a.m.  Members of the media will have the opportunity to capture imagery of her flight, and there will be an interview opportunity following her landing.

All members of the media must coordinate with the public affairs office by 3 pm. Friday Nov. 2 to gain access to the base.  For more information or to RSVP for this event, members of the media may contact the wing’s public affairs office at 541-885-6677.

Secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, biography:  https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/1183103/dr-heather-wilson/

Oregon Teens Plot To Drug And Kill Parents

Juvenile Plots to Kill Parents

CORVALLIS, Ore. – On Saturday, October 27, 2018, Benton County Sheriff’s Office Deputies took a 14-year-old male from Albany into custody on two charges of Attempted Aggravated Murder and Attempted Arson in the First Degree. Two days later, his 13-year-old male accomplice was taken into custody on two counts of Attempted Aggravated Murder, for the substantial steps he took toward aiding his friend in the crime.

Neither of the juveniles have criminal histories. The 14-year-old was booked and lodged at the Linn-Benton Detention Center in Linn County on Saturday night. The 13-year-old was interviewed on Monday afternoon, admitted to giving his friend the sleep aid medication to kill his parents, and was subsequently taken into custody lodged at the same detention center.

A call to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office was initially made on October 25. A concerned father had information received that his son wanted to give him and his wife sleeping pills and light the house on fire to kill them. 

Several additional friends were reportedly aware of the son’s plot. We are asking juveniles to report suspicious activity, anonymously, to Safe Oregon at 844-472-3367 or tip@safeoregon.com. We also remind the community if they see something, say something.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with additional information is asked to contact Benton County Sheriff’s Office at 541-766-6858

OREGON STATE POLICE CRIME LAB RETIRES STATE’S DNA SAFE KIT BACKLOG

OREGON STATE POLICE CRIME LAB RETIRES STATE’S DNA SAFE KITS

Oregon State Police is pleased to announce our Forensic Services Division has finished processing the backlog of thousands of old “SAFE – kits” sent in by police agencies around the state. These kits — Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence kits (sometimes incorrectly called “rape kits”) are used to collect evidence from victims of sexual assault.   

Prior to the Oregon Legislature’s passage of SB1571 in 2016, Oregon police agencies submitted SAFE kits for DNA analysis only when the test results could potentially help solve or prove the crime being investigated. As a result, more than 5,000 kits were retained in evidence storage at police agencies around the state. In passing SB-1571 the Oregon Legislature recognized both the future crime-fighting value added by growing the database of “DNA fingerprints”, and the intrinsic value many survivors, victims, and victim’s families found in the testing. 

Oregon Police Chiefs and Sheriffs partnered with the State Police to provide an accounting of sexual assault kits, so public safety leadership could assess the pending workload and establish new submission protocols to manage it efficiently.  

The passage of SB 1571, and the Legislature’s support of additional staffing in the State Police crime lab, made it possible for the OSP Forensic Services Division to process thousands of SAFE kits over the last two years. At the same time, with help from the Multnomah County DA’s Office, Portland Police Bureau, and the District Attorneys in Lane County and Marion County, grant funding was secured to pay for outside testing of the oldest kits from police agencies in those counties. State Police scientists entered eligible “DNA fingerprint” profiles from both testing sources into the FBI’s national database (CODIS). 

Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton said, “For the sake of justice and Oregon’s sexual assault survivors, Oregon’s public safety leaders made the submission and testing of SAFE kits a priority at all levels of law enforcement.  This success story would not have been possible without the collaboration of Oregon’s Chiefs of Police, Sheriffs, District Attorneys, legislators, health workers, and sexual assault survivors and their advocates.”

Superintendent Hampton added, “I’m very proud of the State Police Forensic Scientists in all our crime laboratories.  They achieved remarkable results on a very demanding and technically challenging project.”

Governor Kate Brown said “As a longtime advocate for survivors of sexual assault, addressing the backlog of SAFE kits in Oregon has been a priority of my administration. This project is the perfect example of what can happen when diverse stakeholders work together to right a wrong. Although success cannot come overnight, key investments in funding and the steady work of our State Police Forensic Scientists show that success is achievable.”  

By working together with other capable Oregon partners, Oregon has become one of the few states in the country to fully eliminate the SAFE kit backlog.

Guest Blog Post: Disaster Prep Food Part II

Jump Start Your Food Supply Part II

    Last week we began a shopping list of groceries to get started with your food storage plan.  These are everyday items you can buy at any grocery store.  All the experts recommend storing food with which your body is already familiar.  In the event of a disaster, everyone’s system is under stress and introducing strange food into your diet will only serve to sideline you at a time when you need to be 100%.  

    Don’t try to do this all at once.  Watch the sales, shop the bargains and buy what you know.  You can get the dehydrated meals if you like, and they will keep you alive, and they do look good stacked in your pantry, but I’m willing to wager that you’ve never tasted them.

    If you missed last week’s column, you can check my blog (see below)  for a complete list.

11. 10 lbs of pancake mix.  Buy the “just add water” variety, such as Krusteaz. Simple to make, easy to fix and everybody’s familiar with hotcakes.  Don’t forget a jug of syrup

12.  2 lbs of honey and 2 jars of jam.  Everybody needs a little sweetness.

13.  10 lbs of pasta. Again, easy to fix, familiar to everyone and a great comfort food.

14.  10 cans or jars of spaghetti sauce.  Goes great with the pasta.  Cheap and satisfying. It’s not homemade, but it does dress up the pasta.

15.  20 cans of soup or broth or soup mixes.   The beauty of soup is that they are a budget friendly, all-in-one meal solution and most require only water for preparation.

16.  1 large jug of cooking oil. Olive oil, vegetable oil, coconut or some other cooking oil, but definitely get some.

17.  Spices and condiments.  “Spice” up your pasta and oatmeal with some of the spices you already have in your cupboard and are accustomed to using, but lay in some extra.  Garlic, pepper, tabasco, all your favorites.

18.  5 lbs of coffee and 100 tea bags.  For some of us life just isn’t life without our coffee.  Tea can be therapeutic and soothing as well.

19.  2 large bags of hard candies.  Peppermints, butterscotch and lemon drops can go a long way toward making a hard situation bearable.

20.  Flashlight and extra batteries.  Lots of extra batteries.  Ok, I know, this isn’t edible.  But you can never have enough flashlights and batteries. 

    Now I know what you’re saying.  There are a lot of essentials I forgot.  Remember this is a “starter” list.  Some might say we need flour, wheat, yeast, and other baking necessities.   Quite frankly a whole lot of folks today don’t have a clue what to do with flour, nor do they have an oven that works without electricity.  Those things, and others, are important and should be a part of every food plan so don’t pass them up for your comprehensive plan.

    As always, send your questions and comments to disasterprep.dave@gmail.com.  Check my blog for previous columns at www.diasterprepdave.blogspot.com.  Dave Robinson is  the author of “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us,” available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and other online booksellers.

Traffic Alert: Fiber Cable Install On 6th Street Today

The City of Klamath Falls has advised that work crews will be installing fiber optic line today along 6th Street.

The work is authorized OCT 31 between 8:30a to 2:00pm. Crews will be working from 6th and Shasta to 6th and East Main.

Flaggers will be working the lane closures. 6th Street will be closed (at an unspecified location) for about 5 minutes at some point during the day as lines are installed over the street.

Please use caution for flaggers and expect delays today.

American Garden Perlite to occupy old Aqua Glass building

American Garden Perlite has announced they have purchased the old Aqua Glass building by the airport. The company is based in Lake Whales, Florida. They obtain perlite product from a mine located in the Lakeview, Oregon area.

A time frame for when the company will be operational in Klamath Falls is not known. Improvements to the building and new local jobs are expected, bringing excellent news for the local economy.

Tornado spotted in Salem Area

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A tornado watch was issued for a short time in the Salem area this afternoon. This was after a local firefighter there witnessed a tornado touch down east of Jefferson, Oregon.

The National Weather Service issued a brief tornado watch for counties around Salem after the report came in. The watch has since been lifted.

A confirmed tornado touched down over the past weekend in Portland causing minor damage.

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