Disasters & Accidents

For Fire Crews in Chelan, Safety A Top Priority

Aug 23, 2015
Courtney Flatt

Fire crews Saturday had an easier time with wind in North Central Washington. That meant it was easier to fight the Chelan Complex. It also meant the area had unhealthy levels of smoke. Correspondent Courtney Flatt talked with fire crews protecting homes on the Lake Chelan’s south shore.

Smoke rises from a smoldering fire a few feet away from a mobile home on Lake Chelan. Helicopters continuously dip water from the lake and dump it on hot spots. The area is still under a mandatory evacuation order. The fire, called First Creek, is two percent contained.

Haze Settles Over Western Oregon

Aug 23, 2015
Anni Katz

Monday’s air quality is slightly improved in Eugene, Springfield and Cottage Grove. Oakridge continues to have unhealthy levels of particulate matter due to smoke from the area’s wildfires. That’s according to the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency.

wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com

The Canyon Creek Complex fire is still growing, but shelters are closing up and people are heading home after days away.

OPB

Gusty winds and heat are challenging crews fighting fires in the northwest. More than 327-thousand acres are burning in Oregon. And nearly 2-thousand homes are threatened. The Canyon Creek Complex Fire near John Day in eastern Oregon has destroyed 36 homes.

Oregon Governor Brown Tours Canyon Creek Fire

Aug 20, 2015
Amanda Peacher / OPB

Oregon Governor Kate Brown toured the Canyon Creek Complex Fire near John Day Wednesday. The fire continues to grow and is currently the number one fire priority in the nation.

Governor Brown viewed the wreckage of some of the 36 homes that were consumed by the fire last week.

BROWN: "I think Oregonians are willing to step up to the plate and assist this community. But I have to say I know the residents of Grant County they are tough and resilient. They're going to survive and rebuild.  

John Stapleton

Of all the natural elements—fire seems to elicit our most primal responses. Human fascination with fire starts early and some research reveals the less we learn about fire as kids—the stronger our curiosity grows into adulthood. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert takes a look at societal views and how we educate children about the function and the dangers of fire.

OPB

Three firefighters have been killed, and four others were injured this afternoon battling a wildfire in North Central Washington.

Sgt. Tianna Waite, 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs.

With wildfires raging across the state, Governor Kate Brown has activated the Oregon National Guard to assist in firefighting efforts.

The Oregon National Guard has already been deployed this summer to help fight wildfires, using four Blackhawk helicopters equipped with 500 gallon water buckets. Now Governor Brown is calling in more troops as the fires spread and resources are maxed out across the west. About 125 soldiers will begin training this week in Salem. 

inciweb

With resources stretched thin across the northwest, fire officials are asking the public to help prevent new fires. Triple-digit temperatures and tinder dry conditions mean just a spark could lead to a major wildfire.

kval.com

Firefighters continue to battle a wildfire sparked Wednesday afternoon near Eugene. The Chambers Mill fire, about three miles south of Lorane, has worsened local air quality. Firefighters worked through the night, bulldozing a line around most of the perimeter. Cynthia Orlando is with the Oregon Department of Forestry, which is fighting the fire:

Stouts Creek Fire Facebook page

Oregon's biggest wildfire is 40 percent contained. The Stouts Creek Fire in Douglas County has burned more than 23 thousand acres.

Lane Blood Center

The Lane Blood Center needs donations, and they want to help wildland firefighters. They're hoping the community will answer the call with two charity events this month.

With people on summer vacation and college students away until the fall, there are fewer blood donors available. And local traumas have depleted inventories of o blood types.

Vignos: "We need O types, which is O negative and O positive. And we also need A positive blood right now."

That's Cynthia Vignos with Lane Blood Center.

Karen Richards

A recent article in the New Yorker and the July Fourth earthquake near Springfield have generated concern for the potential of a massive Cascadia event in the Northwest. Scientists at the U of O have been working to strengthen Oregon’s early warning systems.

Tiffany Eckert

The Eugene-Springfield Fire Department is being praised today (Thursday) for saving the two businesses closest to the Southtowne Lanes Bowling Alley that was completely destroyed by fire Wednesday. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert spoke with business owners as they assessed the damage.

Dave Nelkin owns Eugene coin and jewelry. A day after the fire, staff were packing up merchandise so that they can begin cleaning up the smoke and water damage.

Tiffany Eckert

The Eugene-Springfield Fire Department is being praised today (Thursday) for saving the two businesses closest to the Southtowne Lanes Bowling Alley that was completely destroyed by fire Wednesday. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert spoke with business owners as they assessed the damage.

Dave Nelkin owns Eugene coin and jewelry. A day after the fire, staff were packing up merchandise so that they can begin cleaning up the smoke and water damage.

Tiffany Eckert

UPDATE: Thursday 3:30pm

Today fire investigators, insurance adjusters, clean-up crews and business owners are assessing the damage from Wednesday's fire that destroyed Southtowne Lanes bowling alley on Willamette Street.

http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4426/

Firefighters continue to battle two large wildfires in Douglas County. The Cable Crossing fire is located just east of Glide. It's currently burning at more than 1,000 acres. Tom Fields is a Public Information Officer for The Department of Forestry. He says the hot dry weather helped to fuel the fire Thursday and Friday.

Fields: "Also, it's very tough, steep terrain. It's tough to put firefighters down in those positions. So, some of our tactics that we will be using is to do some control burnout operations with established containment lines."

Evacuations Ordered For Residents In The Cow Creek Area

Jul 31, 2015
http://www.dfpa.net/

A 6,000 acre wildfire 10 miles from Canyonville has initiated level 3 evacuations for residents near the upper Cow Creek area. Level 3 is a mandatory warning to leave. The Stouts Fire was spotted early Thursday afternoon. Drought conditions and temperatures hovering around 100 degrees caused the blaze to grow quickly.

Douglas Forest Protective Association

Update: As of Friday morning, the Stouts fire is at 6,000 acres.

A new fire in Douglas County has prompted evacuations near the community of Milo.

OPB

Oregon's Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio Tuesday introduced a bill to fund an earthquake early warning system for the Pacific Northwest.

The system would trigger automatic shutdowns of trains, manufacturing lines, close bridges and evacuate students from unsafe schools.

DeFazio says the system could save thousands of lives in the case of a major earthquake and tsunami.

Emeralds To Host Tribute To Civic Stadium

Jul 24, 2015
Jes Burns

Eugene's minor league baseball team, the Emeralds, will be paying homage to Civic Stadium tonight (Friday) at their new home, PK Park near Autzen Stadium. Civic Stadium was the longtime ballpark of the Emeralds prior to their relocation. The historic venue burned down last month, four minors have been charged for starting the fire.

OPB.org

This week's New Yorker article "The Really Big One" has served as a wake up call to northwest residents to the reality that a major earthquake is expected to hit in the next 50 years. Oregon Emergency Managers want to use this opportunity to help people prepare.

Jenny Demaris is Emergency Manager for Lincoln County on the Oregon Coast. She says after reading or hearing about the article, people took notice.

Angela Kellner/KLCC

The drought and recent high temperatures have dried out the fuels and forests, increasing the wildfire risk. The Oregon Country Fair has its own well-trained volunteer fire crew. Over the years, they’ve built a cooperative relationship with the fire departments in the surrounding area.

oregonlive.com

Wildfires burning in Oregon started early this year, and could be active late into the fire season. Most blazes in 2015 have been lightning-caused so far. The biggest is the Corner Creek Fire burning near the South Fork John Day River in the Ochoco National Forest. It's about 15 percent contained and has burned more than 26 thousand acres. Oregon Department of Forestry Spokesman Rod Nichols is very pleased with the lack of fireworks-related fires on forest lands this year during the 4th of July Holiday.  

US Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers sent inspectors to 13 Willamette Valley dams following Saturday’s magnitude 4.2 earthquake. All of them were judged to be safe.

Protocol requires dams within 75 miles of a magnitude 4.0 or greater earthquake be inspected within 24 hours.

John Stapleton

Four boys will likely be charged with 2nd degree arson for causing the fire that destroyed Eugene's Historic Civic Stadium Monday. A fifth boy came to police Wednesday morning.

Witnesses had reported seeing a group of boys around the press box at Civic before the fire Monday evening. Eugene Police Detective Steve Williams says three of the boys are 12 and the other is 10 years old. He says they didn't give him a reason for setting the fire.

Rachael McDonald

Crews are still mopping up embers at Eugene's Civic Stadium where the historic grandstands burned down Monday.

The Eugene Police arson team will investigate the fire. Chief Pete Kerns says it's unknown whether the blaze was intentional. Witnesses report 3 or 4 young people were seen at the stadium before the fire. Kerns says he's hoping for the public's help.

Kerns: "Typically in cases like this that have so much community interest we learn who the people were that were seen leaving a scene like this so we don't want anyone to be afraid to come to the police."

John Stapleton

Eugene's historic Civic Stadium burned to the ground Monday evening around 5:30 PM. Fire crews were able to extinguish most of the flames around 7:30 PM. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert arrived at the scene and found smoke billowing from the structure. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Eckert spoke with eye witness Danny Sales, who is a varsity baseball coach at nearby South Eugene High. He says he saw the flames coming from the grandstands and called 9-11.

John Stapleton

A fire broke out at Eugene's Civic Stadium around 5:30. Crews responded immediately, but were unable to save the structure. Reporter Desmond O'Boyle spoke with Rachael McDonald, who was at the scene.

Rachael McDonald

With near triple-digit temperatures forecast for the weekend in many parts of Oregon, people will seek relief in local rivers and lakes. KLCC's Rachael McDonald asked Lane County Search and Rescue Coordinator Tim Chase for some tips on water safety.

Chase says it's essential to wear a life jacket. He says if you fall in the water, it buys you time.

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