Category Archives: Klamath Falls Breaking News

Sheriff Says Don’t Fall For IRS Scam


Don’t Fall For The IRS Phone Scam Circulating

The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office is busy making sure we have enough bed space in our jail for people not properly taking care of their tax obligations to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Scores of citizens are being continually contacted by telephone (including myself) from thieves claiming to be from the IRS and threatening arrest if they don’t provide bank account information or submit payments in a timely manner.

Well, if this is true, then our jail needs to make sure there is enough bed space available for all the people who will be arrested for not providing this information via telephone. We’ll make sure this happens.

Seriously, it’s time again to warn vulnerable citizens that the IRS does not solicit payment of delinquent taxes in this manner. It is perfectly okay to hang up on these fraudsters or take up as much of their time on the phone as you can stand so they can’t try to steal from anyone else.

Klamath County Sheriff’s Office To Participate In Extra Traffic Patrols


High Visibility Enforcement / Seatbelt & Child Seats / Labor Day DUII Enforcement

As summer comes to an end, many people will try to squeeze in one more vacation. To help us all get to-and-from safely. The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting random High Visibility Enforcement for Distracted Driving, Driving Under the Influence, Safety Belts and Speed.

Beginning Monday, August 19th and extending through Sunday, September 1st, law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon will use federally funded overtime to educate the public about safety belt and child seat laws including a law passed in 2017 increasing safety for children under age two.

Starting Friday, August 30th and extending through Monday, September 2nd, the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office will also be conducting High Visibility Enforcement for Driving Under the Influence.

“I Am They” Concert This Friday In Malin. Seats Are Limited

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The popular Christian band “I Am They” will be performing a concert in Malin this Friday. Tickets are $25 per person, and group discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Tickets are selling fast and the concert could reach a sell out condition this week. The Broadway Theater is advising anyone interested to get tickets now and not wait until the day of the concert. The Broadway Theater says “there are no bad seats” in the newly renovated venue.

Tickets can be purchased online here

“I Am They” is a very popular Christian band with millions of views on Youtube. Proceeds from the concert will help the Broadway Theater provide additional events for the local community in the future and will also benefit Basin Youth For Christ.

Seven Missions In Past 48 Hours Keep Search and Dive Rescue Teams Busy

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Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers from Southern Oregon have responded to seven separate missions over the last 48 hours.

First, a male hiker from California requested medical aid for a suspected heart attack while hiking on Mt. McLoughlin August 14. Klamath and Jackson Counties SAR worked together and dispatched Brin Aviation to transport the hiker to a hospital in Medford. The gentleman is reportedly doing fine today.

Later that day, a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) alerted in the Mountain Lakes Wilderness. These devices, easily purchased at many retailers, indicate distress by the user via satellite signals when activated in remote areas. Klamath County volunteers hiked to Lake Harriet and found an Ashland gentleman who was camping and had accidentally activated the PLB.

At the same time several of Klamath’s Dive volunteers, who were conducting a training near MP 57 on Hwy 140, were approached by a person who reported that their companion was going to attempt suicide. The SAR volunteers notified 911 and waited with the individual until additional help arrived on-scene by Oregon State Police.

Simultaneously, two horseback riders from the Medford area called for assistance because they had become lost in the Sky Lakes Wilderness. Since Klamath SAR was already engaged Jackson County volunteers responded, located the riders, and escorted them out.

While Klamath County volunteers were leaving the PLB case they were alerted to another lost hiker call. This time they responded to the Spence Mountain Trail, where a woman had become separated from her hiking partner. Klamath County SAR located the group, who were from Southern California, and led them to the trailhead.

On August 15 two separate calls for help came in related to hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). First, a Roseburg man hiking with a small group called for medical assistance, possibly related to altitude sickness. Klamath and Jackson Counties SAR found the hikers near Mt. McLoughlin and assisted them out; the man has recovered. Next, a through-hiker traveling the PCT from Mexico to Canada called for medical assistance, possibly related to dehydration. Klamath and Douglas Counties SAR coordinated and Douglas SAR responded. The hiker, found near the Klamath-Douglas line, was assisted by other hikers and SAR, recovered quickly, and continued on to Canada.

Jail Commander and SAR Coordinator Brian Bryson said this many lost or disabled hiker missions is not unusual; on average, Klamath County SAR responds to anywhere from 25 to over 100 calls for assistance per year. This many in a short period of time, however, puts a strain on the volunteers who perform the work.

“Coordination between all of our counties is vital to saving lives when so much is going on at the same time,” said Bryson. He also said that Klamath County’s SAR teams, which include north and south county teams and mounted and dive rescue, put in 10-12,000 hours of training and response time per year.

Klamath County’s dive rescue volunteers alone have performed tens of hours of work the past several weeks assisting Jackson, Jefferson, Deschutes, and Wasco Counties with searches related to drownings. Klamath County’s team has a specialized site scan sonar boat that allows them to perform this type of work.

“Our volunteers are simply awesome. They drop everything and do this on their own time,” said Bryson.

If interested in becoming a Klamath County SAR volunteer, contact Lt. Bryson at 541-883-5130 or checkout the volunteer section of the Klamath County Sheriff’s webpage.


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Klamath County Inmate Attempts Suicide

Local Inmate Suicide Attempt

At approximately 8:03 pm on Wednesday evening (August 14th, 2019) an inmate being held in the Klamath County Jail attempted suicide while alone in a booking cell. The 53 year old man was being held on local misdemeanor charges related to Disorderly Conduct, Harassment, and Criminal Trespass.

Corrections deputies began CPR and were able to re-establish a pulse. Medical transport was dispatched and transported the man by ambulance to the Sky Lakes Medical Center where he is currently being cared for in the Intensive Care Unit. Due to respect for his privacy his name will not be released to the public.

A joint investigation into the incident is being conducted by the Klamath Falls Police Department and the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office.

Final Ward Fire Update

Final Update Ward Fire

This will be the final daily update unless the situation changes significantly.

Fire managers are pleased with the progress so far. The fire is currently in mop up stage and containment has risen to 63%. This success shows that the hard work is paying off. Minimal fire activity is expected today and unburned islands of fuel in the interior will continue to smolder and produce light smoke periodically. Firefighters will continue to focus on mop up operations along the perimeter and will begin removing excess equipment and supplies from secure portions of the fireline. Air resources are available to assist with bucket drops, should that be necessary.

Warm and dry conditions will continue for the next several days, with a slight cooling on Thursday and Friday as an upper level trough passes nearby. As the front passes, northwest winds of 12-17 mph are expected with gusts as high as 25 mph Thursday evening. During his description of the weather forecast at the morning shift briefing, Fire Behavior Analyst Brian Reel told the firefighters that “Today is going to be a test of all of the work you have done for the past few days.”

A local Type 3 organization will assume command of the Ward Fire on Friday August 16, at 6am. The Oregon Department of Forestry IMT 2 would like to thank its partner the Bureau of Land Management. The team would also like to express its gratitude to the community of Keno, Keno Elementary School, Keno Fire Department, and PacificCorp for sharing their town, their school, and their

Ward Fire Update August 15, 2019 8:00am Oregon Department of Forestry IMT 2 Chris Cline, Incident Commander



The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has lifted the recreational use health advisory issued for Odell Lake in Klamath County.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of cyanotoxins (harmful algae toxins) in Odell Lake are below recreational guideline values for human exposure. However, officials advise recreational visitors to be alert to signs of cyanobacterial (harmful algae) blooms, because blooms can develop and disappear on any lake through the season. Only a fraction of Oregon’s lakes and streams are monitored for cyanobacterial blooms.

People and especially small children and pets should avoid recreating in areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red in color, if a thick mat of blue-green algae is visible in the water, or bright green cells are suspended in the water. If you see these signs avoid activities that cause you to swallow water or inhale droplets, such as swimming or high-speed water activities.

It’s possible cyanotoxins can still exist in clear water. Sometimes, cyanobacteria can move into another area, making water that once looked foamy, scummy or discolored now look clear. However, when a bloom dies elsewhere in the water body, it can release toxins that may reach into the clear water. There also are species of cyanobacteria that anchor themselves at the bottom of a water body, live in the sediment, or can grow on aquatic plants and release toxins into clear water near the surface.

Ward Fire Update: 8-14-19

Ward Fire Update 8-14-19

Fire Summary:

Warmer and drier conditions continue to play a role in the Ward fire. Predicted flare up activity during the day kept firefighters busy on Tuesday. Crews achieved good successes on some sections, reinforcing control lines. As a result, several engines and crews will be reassigned today from more secure parts of the line to some of the more challenging areas. In the eastern section, there are still many islands of green, unburned areas inside the fire perimeter, which take longer to secure.

Today, crews will concentrate on meticulously checking for and extinguishing hot spots, flagging areas of concern, and meeting mop up standards, which vary from a minimum of 200 feet from the hard black (areas where there is no fuel) to 300 feet in incompletely burned and areas of higher fuel concentrations. With a front coming through Thursday morning, this work is critically important. “The biggest variable on fire behavior is weather,” says Chris Cline, Incident Commander. “The fuels and the slope stay constant.” Cline also noted the importance of continued vigilance on the fireline; “The job that we are doing today affects what happens on the fire tomorrow.”

The level of containment (currently at 47%) is a good measure of the Incident Commander’s assessment of the fire’s potential. Simply put, containment level is the percentage of the perimeter that has been determined controlled. In this case, there may be no smoke or flames in the other 53% of the perimeter, but firefighters cannot yet rule out the possibility that a light wind might ignite some of the unburned fuels near the line and result in spot fires.

If conditions stay as predicted, it is likely that steady progress towards full containment will continue through the week.


Recreational use advisory for Upper Klamath Lake updated August 13

PORTLAND, Ore.— The Oregon Health Authority updated a recreational use health advisory today for Upper Klamath Lake due to the presence of a cyanobacterial (harmful algae) bloom and cyanotoxins (harmful algae toxins) above recreational guideline values for human exposure. The lake is in Klamath County.

The advisory, originally issued July 19, applied to the Eagle Ridge County Park area of Upper Klamath Lake. OHA updates an advisory when new sampling data is received. Sampling data received Aug. 8 showed toxin levels above recreational guideline values in the Howard’s Bay area of Upper Klamath Lake. Satellite imagery shows the entire lake affected by a cyanobacterial bloom. Out of caution, OHA is updating the advisory to apply to the entire lake and will continue to evaluate new information as it becomes available.

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

People are encouraged to visit Upper Klamath Lake 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.

Drinking water

Drinking water directly from areas of the lake affected by a bloom is especially dangerous. Toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating water with camping-style filters. Contact campground management or the local health department with questions about water available at nearby campgrounds or day use areas.

People who are not on a well or a public water system and draw in-home water directly from an affected area are advised to use an alternative water source because not all private treatment systems are proven effective in removing cyanotoxins.


Fish caught from areas where cyanobacterial blooms are present should have fat, skin and organs removed before cooking or freezing, as toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues. Fillets should also be rinsed with clean water.


Exposure to cyanotoxins can be serious and result in a range of symptoms, from those similar to food poisoning such as stomach cramping, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, to more serious symptoms like numbness, tingling, dizziness and shortness of breath that may require medical attention. Children and pets are at increased risk for exposure because of their size and level of activity. People who bring their pets to a lake with areas affected by a bloom for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in these areas.

For health information or to report an illness, contact the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) at 971-673-0482.

Ward Fire Update 8/13/2019 9:25am


Fire Summary:

With the warmer, drier weather yesterday, there were several flare-ups during the day and overnight inside of the perimeter of the Ward Fire, where residual hot spots ignited drying grass and brush. Flare-ups such as these are common with the current weather conditions and are a vivid reminder that work on this fire is not yet finished. “We are still dealing with a fire,” said Mitch Williams, Field Night Operations.

Conditions also gave rise to a couple of new fires ignited by the last storm in areas close to the Ward fire yesterday. These fires were quickly controlled by Initial Attack crews.

Firefighters spent much of the last 24 hours continuing to secure firelines and mop up along the perimeter of the burned area. During mop up operations, firefighters extinguish any smoking or burning materials with soil or water, helping to ensure that there are no remaining embers that could reignite a fire. They also remove standing dead trees (snags), dig up and smother smoldering stumps, or move logs that might roll downhill.

For much of the perimeter, there now exists a 30-50 foot wide mop up zone that should help prevent remaining hot spots from igniting anything outside of the burned area in that section. This zone will continue to be secured and expanded in width during the coming days.

Infrared mapping of the fire by aircraft on Sunday night showed that the fire still had significant heat, despite the recent rain. Monday’s night shift crews began using palm infrared cameras to locate areas of heat closest to the perimeter of the fire that may pose an immediate threat.

Today, crews continue systematic searching along gridlines for potential spot fires in the areas of most concern outside of the fire margins. Along the south perimeter of the fire, concentration is developing hand line through the rocky rim of the Klamath River Canyon.

Safety considerations include steep terrain, snags in and around the fires, rattlesnakes, power lines in the area, and areas of unburned fuels.

Cooperators assisting partner agencies ODF and BLM on the fire include: Green Diamond Resource Company and the Klamath County Fire Chief.

WARD FIRE UPDATE 8/12/19 9:08am

Favorable weather conditions helped crews continue to make solid progress on the Ward fire, increasing containment to 24% as of yesterday evening. John Pellissier, Operations Section Chief, summed it up during the briefing as night-shift firefighters prepared to go out. “Today we had a good day of work, building off good work last night”. The fire size was updated to 1301 acres (down from 1329 acres), based on added GPS reference points.

During night shift crews finished laying hose along the west, north, and east flanks of the fireline. Today, crews will improve the firelines and continue mop up deeper into the burned area. Mop up along much of the lines has reached 30 to 50 feet into the burned area.

The southern flank of the fire is perched atop the steep canyon rim, overlooking the Klamath River. Fire managers seized an opportunity yesterday to have crews scratch in some basic hand line, which is the first step toward securing the extremely steep slopes below the canyon rim. Night crews avoided the steep terrain in observance of safety, and crews today will begin improving the line along the southern edge of the fire.

Today’s weather forecast calls for warmer and dryer conditions with winds from the west with gusts of 4-10 mph. Firefighters expect that the increasing temperature and wind will allow smoldering areas of the fire to flame up.

Safety considerations continue to be snags, rattlesnakes, power lines, and rolling debris on the steep slopes on the southern edge of the fire.

Cooperators assisting partner agencies ODF and BLM on the fire include: Green Diamond Resource Company and the Klamath County Fire Chief.

Click here for fire perimeter map.  Click here for infrared map.

Oregon Department of Forestry IMT 2, Chris Cline, Incident Commander

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