Category Archives: Pacific Northwest Regional News

Fall Prescribed Fire Season starting in South Central Oregon

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Fall Prescribed Fire Season starting in South Central Oregon

LAKEVIEW, ORE. – Planned fall prescribed fire operations will start as soon as conditions allow for smoke management and desired prescription outcomes. Fire managers on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, Lakeview District Bureau of land Management (BLM) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex are looking for opportunities to apply prescribed fire to the landscape.

Prescribed fire is a proactive approach to fire and land management, reintroducing fire in a manner that reduces hazardous fuels, improves range and forest health, and benefits the fire-adapted ecosystem.  Prescribed fire can be strategically located across the landscape, is carefully managed to meet resource and smoke management objectives, and incorporates consideration for sensitive resources.  Unplanned wildfires generally do not afford such benefits, burn with high intensity, and often requires costly suppression efforts.

Cooler temperatures, adequate humidity, and favorable winds for smoke management, will allow firefighters to start applying fire to planned units. Burning operations will be monitored and patrolled frequently by fire professionals to ensure public safety.

Prescribed fire will occur on days when the Oregon Department of Forestry Smoke Management Office indicates there are suitable weather conditions for smoke dispersal. Following that approval, if overall fuel and weather conditions are favorable, firefighters ignite a test fire before moving forward. If the test fire indicates conditions are not suitable, the prescribed fire will be postponed until conditions improve.

Residents and visitors are asked to be aware of their surroundings and watch for prescribed fire operations to maintain personal and firefighter safety. Areas where prescribed fire operations are taking place will be well signed and may have increased fire personnel, traffic and smoke in the area.

Smoke may be visible on public lands in various areas for the next few months as prescribed operations continue. Each prescribed fire can appear different visually depending on the forest type, fuel load, prescribed fire objectives and how long fire has been absent from the area.

Hunters and other recreation users should check current conditions in the area, especially during September and October with the possibility of prescribed fire operations.

Prescribed Fire Notices will be posted prior to ignition once timeframes have been established. SCOFMP employees are committed to safe and successful prescribed fire operations within these designated areas.

Health Advisory Issued For Seal Rock State Park Beach

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The Oregon Health Authority issued a public health advisory today for higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at Seal Rock State Park Beach in Lincoln County.

People should avoid direct contact with the water in this area until the advisory is lifted. Higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. This applies especially to children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to illness from waterborne bacteria.

Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources such as stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems, and animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.

While this advisory is in effect at Seal Rock State Park Beach, visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach or discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. Even if there is no advisory in effect, officials recommend avoiding swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.

Although state officials advise against water contact, they continue to encourage other recreational activities (flying kites, picnicking, playing on the beach, walking, etc.) on this beach because they pose no health risk even during an advisory.

The status of water contact advisories at beaches is subject to change. For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0482, or 877-290-6767 (toll-free).

Body Recovered At Lost Creek Lake From June Drowning

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Volunteer Side Scan Sonar Experts Located The Body In 135 Feet Of Water

TRAIL, Ore. – On June 9, 2019, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) and other agencies responded to Lost Creek Lake for a reported drowning of two individuals. Deputies located the first victim, Irving Fuentes, 25, unresponsive in the water. He was transported to Providence Hospital where we was pronounced deceased.

The search for the second drowning victim, Juan Carlos Fuentes, 29, has been ongoing since the incident took place in June. Police, Fire, and Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel have worked diligently to recover Fuentes for his family.

Gene and Cindy Ralston, a retired couple from Idaho, were called upon for the search. The Ralston’s are experts in Side Scan Sonar and spend their retirement working to help families and searchers in situations like the one at Lost Creek Lake.

On August 20, the Ralstons arrived and quickly located an object believed to be a body approximately 135 feet below the surface.

On August 22, JCSO Marine Patrol and a JCSO Search and Rescue Dive Team began recovery efforts and were successful. The Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office has positively identified the subject as Juan Carlos Fuentes.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Search and Rescue personnel as well as Gene and Cindy Ralston for their help in allowing the Fuentes family to move forward in their grieving process.

Case #19-11565

Oakridge man pleads guilty to a single count of unlawfully taking an endangered species.

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Colton Tony Dick, 22, of Oakridge, Oregon, pleaded guilty to a single count of unlawfully taking an endangered species.

According to court documents, on October 5, 2016, using a rifle and scope, Dick shot at an endangered gray wolf without legal justification as the animal was walking away from him in the Fremont-Winema National Forest. Dick was unable to locate the wolf.

Although Dick did not admit to killing a gray wolf, an investigation began on October 6, 2016 when an adult female GPS-collared gray wolf known as “OR 28” was found dead in the Fremont-Winema National Forest near Summer Lake, Oregon. On November 9, 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service Forensic Lab determined OR 28 died as a result of injuries sustained from a single gunshot wound.

Gray wolves (Canis lupus), located in Western Oregon, are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

Unlawfully taking an endangered species carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison, a $100,000 fine and one year of supervised release.

Under a deferred sentencing agreement with the government, Dick has agreed to submit to one-year of supervised release, pay restitution of $2,500 to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, not hunt any wildlife for a period of one year and perform 100 hours of community service.

If Dick complies with these conditions, he will be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea and the government will move to dismiss his charge.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement and the Oregon State Police. It was prosecuted by Adam E. Delph, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

If you or someone you know has information about a wildlife crime, please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement by emailing fws_tips@fws.gov or calling 1-844-397-8477.

 

M.A.D.G.E Fentanyl Seizure in Jackson County

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Update:

Arrested: Dubinstov, Pavel – 22 years old

Dubinstov was lodged at Jackson County Jail on 8/6/2019 for:

Delivery of a Controlled Substance

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Unlawful Delivery of Cocaine

Unlawful Possession of Cocaine

Bail $42,500-

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On 07/28/19 at approximately 1:00 pm, MADGE detectives stopped a white 2008 Dodge Sprinter van on I-5 near milepost 16 and seized cocaine, scales and packaging.  The van was seized for a search warrant.  When the search warrant was served detectives found 60,000-80,000 fentanyl pills located in a hidden trap and packaged in such a way as to attempt to mask any odor.

The pills are similar in shape, color and markings to Oxycodone 30 pills; round, blue with a M on one side and 30 on the other side.

The street value a single fentanyl pills is approximately $50-.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but can be 50 to 100 times more potent.  There is a high risk of overdose associated with fentanyl.  According to Acetyl Fentanyl Fact Sheet synthetic opioids are the most common drugs associated with overdose deaths in the United States.

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Klamath National Forest – Fire Update

UPDATE- August 11, 2019. Thunderstorms over the past two days have started around 20 fires on the Klamath National Forest. Most of the fires have been staffed and are less than one acre in size, with the majority being a tenth of an acre. The significant moisture with these storms helped to mitigate fire activity. With warming and drying on the way our fire resources will continue to monitor the landscape looking for additional lightning fires that may pop up. Please continue to do all you can to prevent fires from starting.

Oregon Department Of Revenue Warns Of Scam

Salem, OR—The Oregon Department of Revenue has recently seen a spike in concerned taxpayers reporting fishy phone calls. The callers fraudulently identify themselves as Social Security representatives and threaten the taxpayer with deactivating their Social Security number or account because of suspicious activity. 

The scammers may ask for personal information and bank account information. In addition, your caller ID may even show the real Social Security Administration number (1-800-772-1213) when the scammers call—but they’re faking the number. 

“We encourage the public to protect themselves by verifying they’re speaking with authorized representatives of the Social Security Administration if they have any questions about the legitimacy of the call,” said Department of Revenue Director Nia Ray. 

The Social Security Administration advises that if you suspect the call is a scam, hang up and call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 to speak to a real SSA representative. Never give any part of your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you, or your bank account or credit card number. 

If you get one of these calls, notify the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint. You can also report scams to the Office of Inspector General on their hotline at 1-800-269-0271 or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report. 

TANKER SPILL INJURES DRIVER, CLOSES ROAD

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WHITE CITY, Ore. – A Monday night double-tanker truck crash sent one man to the hospital and spilled fuel on a rural roadway.  Antioch Road reopened Tuesday morning after a 12-hour closure that allowed personnel to remove wreckage and to assess environmental impacts and fire danger.

On August 5, 2019, at 8:44 p.m., dispatch received a 911 call reporting a crash in the 11000-block of Antioch Road.  The caller reported a tanker truck had overturned in the roadway, blocking both lanes and spilling fuel.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies responded to the scene, along with personnel from Fire District 3 and Mercy Flights.  The truck driver, Juan Jose Dominguez, 63, of Lacey, Wash., was transported by ambulance to Providence Medford Medical Center.  His injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

The truck was registered to Croman Corporation of White City.  The tank trailers were reportedly carrying aviation fuel to be used to support air operations for nearby wildfires.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.  Deputies say Dominguez was not impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Staff from the Jackson County Roads Department and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) assisted with the overnight road closure.  Personnel from the local HazMat response team and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) were also requested to respond to the scene.

The wreckage was cleared early Tuesday morning and the road was reopened at approximately 9:15 a.m.  Roads officials say some crews will still be working in the area Tuesday; motorists can expect intermittent closures throughout the day.  Deputies suggest using an alternate route to help keep roadside personnel safe.

On Wednesday, Antioch Road will be closed again to through traffic between Highway 234 and Modoc Road as the clean-up effort continues.  Residents on the closed portion of Antioch Road will be allowed access.  Through motorists can easily get around the closure by detouring to the intersection of Highway 234 and Modoc Road.

OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING in Grants Pass

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August 6th, 2019: Officers and detectives from the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety are currently on scene of an officer involved shooting at the Oregon State Police-Grants Pass Office.  The suspect is deceased at the scene and there are minor injuries to the Troopers involved.  The scene is secure and there is no threat to the public.

Further details will follow as they are available.

FINAL FIRE UPDATE FOR THE MILEPOST 97 FIRE

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Media advisory: This will be the final formal fire update for the Milepost 97 Fire unless significant change occurs. We will continue to post information at https://www.facebook.com/milepost97fire and https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6461. The fire remains 13,119 acres and is now 65 percent contained, a 10 percent increase in the last 24 hours.

The Milepost 97 Fire started the evening of July 24 at 10:00 p.m. as the result of an abandoned, and illegal, campfire. While firefighters from the Douglas Forest Protective Association and local rural fire districts con-verged on the fire within 15 to 30 minutes, the fire had established itself in an unmanaged forested area covered with overgrown brush and snags; leftovers from the 1987 Canyon Mountain fire that was part of the first Douglas Complex.

The fire would bring with it many complexities: multiple land ownerships including private, state, federal and tribal trust lands; a major power line and natural gas pipeline dissecting the middle of the fire area; a major interstate freeway (I-5) lining the eastern edge of the fire; and three communities directly in the path of the fire.

This was the first large fire of Oregon’s young fire season. It attracted attention from major media markets from Los Angeles to Portland. Three homes within the fire area were evacuated, but survived. More than 550 structures and homes were threatened and within level 1 and 2 evacuation notifications. After 10 days of intense firefighting with crews, aircraft and equipment, fire officials declared that the fire was completely sur-rounded by hand and equipment constructed line. A few minor burnout operations followed, leaving us where we are today; securing lines, falling hazard trees and mopping up to prevent any further spread. Fires like

Milepost 97, that push firefighting resources to their limit early in the summer, are known for burning for months. Not so in this case. Operations tactics, where firefighters took advantage of opportunities, like breaks in the weather, made for a great stop and the savings of thousands of acres of timberland, millions in fire suppression costs, and hundreds of homes and lives.

ODF’s incident management team and its partner, BLM, wish to thank the Canyonville, Azalea and Glendale communities for their support during the fire suppression effort. We would also like to thank the many cooperators that, without their support, the mission would not have been successful.

Finally, the nation will join in unison this week to wish a very special bear happy birthday. To honor Smokey Bear on his 75th, August 9th, let’s all do our part to prevent the next Milepost 97 fire from starting. Fire danger is currently high to extreme across the state. Many activities that could potentially start a fire are either prohibited entirely or restricted. One less spark, whether it be from a campfire, debris burn pile, lawn mower striking a rock, power saw, cigarette, or vehicle idling over dry grass, will make all the difference when protecting forestlands and communities.

Size: 13,119 Acres
Containment: 65%
Start Date: July 24, 2019, 10:00pm
Location: One mile south of Canyonville, Oregon
Cause: Human Caused
Est. Cost: $19.1 million
Personnel: 1,187

Resources:
50 hand crews
35 Engines
12 Dozers
28 Water Tenders

Aircraft:
2 Type 1 Helo
2 Type 2 Helo
2 Type 3 Helo

Evacuations: None
Structures Threatened: 586
Structures Damaged: 0
Structures Destroyed: 0
Closures: None

State Of Oregon Network Problems

The state has been experiencing intermittent network connectivity issues (latency) since Friday morning due to an issue with some network infrastructure hardware. This issue is impacting the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches. Members of the public may experience delays with accessing state websites and call centers.

The Office of the State Chief Information Officer is working diligently to resolve these issues as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Person Shot With BB Gun While On Walk In Medford

Klamath Alerts News

On August 1st, 2019, at 11:08 p.m., a 53 year old female reported she was shot in the arm by a passing vehicle, which was later determined to be a BB gun. She advised she was walking along the roadway, near 1531 S. Peach Street, when a dark colored sedan stopped in the roadway. She heard a pop and the vehicle sped off, southbound on S. Peach Street.

The victim felt pain and saw blood on her arm. She went to the hospital where it was determined a BB was imbedded in her arm. She is still seeking treatment for the injuries.

The vehicle was only described as a dark colored sedan with blue paper on the license plates. 

If caught, the suspect(s) would be facing Assault 2 charges (felony).

Like other random cases of assault, we are seeking surveillance footage in the area. We are asking for folks to check their cameras for a possible vehicle in and around the time of the assault. 

Any information, please call dispatch, 541-770-4783. Case 19-14565.

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