Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, 6/2 – Sycan River Wildfire 30% Contained and Not Growing, Yellow Jacket Fire Is 30% Contained

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The latest and most comprehensive coverage of local News, Sports, Business, and Community News stories in the Klamath Basin, Southern Oregon and around the state of Oregon from Wynne Broadcasting’s KFLS News/Talk 1450AM / 102.5FM, The Herald & News, and BasinLife.com, and powered by Mick Insuranceyour local health and Medicare agents.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Klamath Basin Weather

Today A 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms before 2pm. Otherwise mostly sunny, with a high near 94. Overnight a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11pm.


Thursday Sunny, with a high near 90.
Friday Sunny, with a high near 88.
Saturday Sunny, with a high near 83.

Today’s Headlines

Firefighters are making great progress on the Sycan River and Yellow Jacket fires in Klamath County near Beatty.  The Sycan River Fire is 30 percent contained and 100 percent lined. 

The total acreage is 615 acres due to more accurate mapping. The fire has not grown since Monday morning.  Firefighters have made good progress securing the fire’s edge through dozer line and burnout operations.  Fire crews continue securing lines and building small amounts of handline where needed. There are approximately 225 fire personnel on the fire. 

The SCOFMP Type 3 Team continues to manage the fire.  Resources on the Sycan River Fire yesterday were shared with the Yellow Jacket Fire response.

The Yellow Jacket Fire is 34 acres and 20 percent contained.  The fire was reported yesterday around 2:15 p.m. The fire is fully lined and mop-up activities started.  Last night fire crews started removing hazard trees burning in the fire’s interior.  There are numerous state, federal and contract resources working on the fire.

The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch from Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday evening for abundant lightning on dry fuels for Fire weather zones 624 & 625 in Klamath and Lake Counties.

Possible lightning and high fire danger could result in new fire starts.  Gusty thunderstorm winds could contribute to fire spread. Despite rainfall, initial attack resources could be overwhelmed and holdover fires are possible, especially with dry conditions and gusty winds expected Thursday afternoon.

The affected area includes – Northeastern Fire Weather Zone 624 and Northwestern Fire Weather Zone 625. This includes Silver Lake and Summer Lake.

There are three new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,674, the Oregon Health Authority reported today. Oregon Health Authority reported 177 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of today, bringing the state total to 201,649.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (1), Clackamas (11), Columbia (3), Crook (3), Deschutes (9), Douglas (7), Jefferson (1), Josephine (2), Klamath (5), Lane (20), Linn (4), Marion (25), Multnomah (35), Wallowa (1), Wasco (1), Washington (48) and Yamhill (1).  

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 238, which is 11 fewer than yesterday. There are 67 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is six more than yesterday.

Five new cases were reported here in Klamath County.

Meanwhile,  A new coronavirus variant has been detected in Oregon.  The Oregon Health Authority says six cases of the India variant have been reported.  The variant constitutes a small number of cases in the U.S. so far, but it makes up 75-percent of the cases in the United Kingdom.  Health officials say the India variant may be more transmissible.  Studies show the vaccines do work against the India variant.

A card listing tips to prove vaccination

The Ross Ragland Theater presents “Whirlpool” on Friday, June 18th and Saturday, June 19th at 7:30pm and on Sunday, June 20th at 2:00pm.

This Ragland production spotlights an old-time radio mystery theater presentation adapted from The Whistler Radio Show to the Ragland stage!  The original performance in May was canceled due to Covid-19.

Whirlpool is a behind the scenes peek at classic radio drama with all the voice actors, sound effects, live commercials, songs, and a few fully belly laughs. The performers bring radio to life, live on stage, while the audience enjoys a theatrical ride full of twists and turns until the very end!  Whirlpool will be directed by long time Ragland supporter Charles “Chip” Massie, and features Rachel Hoffman, Rick Ball, Dan Neubauer, Emily Pace, Peter Lawson, Faye Crenshaw, Pam Davenport, and a few surprise guests (more to come). Dan Crenshaw will be the Musical Director and McKenna Fritz is the Assistant Director.

Klamath Falls Downtown Association (KFDA) has been designated as an accredited Main Street program for meeting rigorous performance standards, according to a news release.

Each year, Main Street America and its partners announce the list of accredited programs to recognize their exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach Klamath Falls City Manager Nathan Cherpeski noted KFDA’s leadership in the revitalization of Downtown Klamath Falls in his praise for the milestone.

Main Street organizations use the Main Street Approach as a basic framework that supports locally customized revitalization through transformational strategies in four interconnected areas – design, organization, promotion, and economic vitality.

Captain Jacks Stronghold and several other fire-damaged trails in the Lava Beds National Monument reopened for visitors today.  

In July 2020, the Caldwell Fire swept through monument, burning 70% of the park, including Captain Jack’s Stronghold. For safety and to allow for cultural resource emergency stabilization assessments, the area was closed to visitors since July 2020. Captain Jacks Stronghold was used from November 1872 through April 1873 by Modoc families as they held out against the U.S. Army.

There is a self-guiding trail guide available at the visitor center that will guide you through the site and tells the story of the siege.

Similarly, with vegetation recovering, park staff have reopened the following trails: Bunchgrass, Missing Link and Big Painted Cave/Symbol Bridge trail and caves.

Around the state of Oregon

Oregon will observe Juneteenth as an official state holiday every June 19, staring in 2022. The Oregon Senate unanimously passed House Bill 2168 on Tuesday to create the holiday. The bill will go back to the House for a review of Senate changes before heading to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s desk.

This official holiday will recognize that the people of Oregon, despite our past, can take the veil of ignorance away, and each year choose to have hope – on Juneteenth and every day thereafter.”

Rising Temps Prompt Preparation

Pacific Power announces it will not disconnect service for non-payment |  KTVL

Tips from Pacific Power to stay cool, use less energy and save money

With the season’s first significant heat wave crashing into southern Oregon this week, Pacific Power wants to remind customers how to beat the heat and use less energy.

  • Get some fresh air. Open your windows during the early morning and evening and use fans to circulate the fresh air.
  • Keep clear of the sun. Close blinds and drapes during the warmest parts of the day. Keeping the sunlight out of your home will keep it cooler.
  • Be AC savvy. Set your air conditioner to 78 degrees when you’re home, and 85 when you’re away. Running your AC at temperatures lower than 78 degrees can increase your electricity bill by up to 8 percent. Also, keep inside air vents clear from furniture and other objects. Make sure the outside unit is free of obstructions.
  • Reduce indoor heat. Push the use of heat-producing appliances such as ovens, dishwashers and clothes dryers to cooler parts of the day. Grilling outside, washing dishes by hand and air-drying clothes are great alternatives.
  • Be safe. With sweltering temperatures, you need to protect yourself. Drink plenty of water and stay out of the sun as much as possible. Also check on any neighbors who may have limited contact with others and may need a fan or other assistance.
  • If you are concerned about your power bill, we have resources to help. You can apply for funds to pay past-due bills through our Assistance Plus program or we can set up a flexible payment plan. Call us any time at 1-888-221-7070.

An intoxicated couple came armed to a Grants Pass park on Monday evening, threatening people with violence, according to the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety.

Shortly before 8 p.m. on Monday, GPDPS dispatch started getting 911 calls about an armed man at Tussing Park who was reportedly threatening to shoot people.

Within 12 seconds of the original call, the callers reported that the man was pointing a handgun at people in the park “and was now actively shooting.” Police responded to Tussing Park and found the man, still carrying a gun, as he left the parking lot. GPDPS said that he complied with officers’ demands and was detained within five minutes of the first call. Officers also detained an intoxicated woman “armed with a large knife,” who turned out to be the male suspect’s wife.

The two were identified as 56-year-old David Denver Dapper and 58-year-old Fawn Elysa Dapper.

Fawn and David were transported to the Josephine County Jail and lodged on the following charges. 

David Dapper: 

  • Unlawful use of a Weapon – 4 counts 
  • Menacing – 4 counts 
  • Unlawful Pointing of a Firearm at Another – 4 counts 
  • Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm – 1 count

Fawn Dapper:

  • Attempted Assault 2 – 4 counts 
  • Unlawful use of a Weapon – 4 counts
  • Menacing – 4 counts

Illegal Marijuana Search Warrant Operations in Josephine County

Since January 1st, 2021, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office has conducted 13 alleged illegal marijuana cultivation search warrant operations within Josephine County. 

These operations took place near the following locations:

  • Redwood Hwy/Midway Ave
  • 500 block of Azalea Dr
  • 4000 block of Galice Rd
  • 3000 block of Rockydale Rd
  • 1000 block of E Fork Rd
  • 1000 block of Boundary Ln
  • 4000 block of Redwood Hwy
  • 2000 block of Lake Shore Dr
  • 6000 block of Rockydale Rd
  • 2000 block of Cheney Creek Rd
  • 8000 block of Monument Dr
  • 100 block of Queen of Bronze Rd
  • 27000 block of Redwood Hwy

 
Many of these operations have been conducted in partnership with other law enforcement agencies. Those agencies include the Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET), Rogue Area Drug Enforcement Team (OSP, GPDPS, Parole and Probation), Oregon State Police, Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET, Jackson County SO, Medford PD), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Josephine County Code Enforcement, Oregon State Health Administration, the Josephine County Watermaster and Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon Department of Agriculture, and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
 
To date this year the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office has seized:
Total Plants: 96,673    
Firearms: 46
Cash: $616,068
Equipment: Multiple water pumps, generators, and heavy machinery  
      
 
Cash seized following forfeiture (due to Oregon law) can only be used for training and equipment.  It cannot be used to fund operations or personnel.
 
Due to the ongoing nature of the investigations, names of suspects, exact locations, dates, and times of the operations are not being released.  As our citizens have seen this year, cultivation sites in the marijuana industry are more robust and have grown.  Your Sheriff’s Office is committed to combating the illegal grows within Josephine County.  You can expect routine informational press releases in the future. Josephine Co. Sheriff’s Office

Oregon Bans Guns From Capitol and Mandates Safe Gun Storage In Homes

Legislators have brought guns into the Oregon State Capitol for personal protection. Protesters have carried semi-automatic rifles onto the grounds and into the building.

Later this year, doing so will be outlawed under a bill signed Tuesday by Gov. Kate Brown that was earlier passed by the Legislature, with Democrats in favor and minority Republicans opposed. The new law also mandates the safe storage of guns.

“Today, I am signing SB 554 with the hope that we can take another step forward to help spare more Oregon families from the grief of losing a loved one to gun violence,” Brown said on Twitter.

The bill was named for Cindy Yuille and Steve Forsyth, who were slain in a shooting at a Portland-area shopping mall in 2012 by a man who stole a friend’s AR-15 rifle. A third person was seriously wounded.

Among those who testified in favor of the measure was Paul Kemp, Forsyth’s brother-in-law.

Backers of the new law, which takes effect three months after the Legislature adjourns this summer, said it will prevent accidental shootings by children, suicides and mass shootings. It requires that firearms be secured with a trigger or cable lock, in a locked container or gun room.

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The bill also bans guns from the Oregon Capitol, changing a law that allowed concealed handgun licensees to bring firearms into the building.

In a related development, an interfaith movement plans to present signatures Wednesday to the staff of Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, a step in an attempt to get two initiative petitions onto the ballot.

IP 18 would ban the sale of assault-style weapons in Oregon. IP 17 would ban the sale of large-capacity magazines and require a permit to purchase any gun and a completed background check before a firearm is purchased.

The movement has gathered the signatures of 2,000 voters for each initiative petition and will hand deliver them to Fagan’s staff, said Pastor Mark Knutson of the Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland.

“We hope to get the go-ahead by early fall, which will give us almost 10 months to get 140,000 signatures to … place them both on the November 2022 general election ballot,” Knutson said.

The debate over guns is being resurrected as the number of mass shootings climbs again in America, with increased efforts to ban assault rifles and large-capacity magazines.

In Colorado, a gun storage bill was signed into law on April by Gov. Jared Polis, who said: “It’s a sensible measure to help avoid immeasurable heartbreak.”

Colorado’s law creates the offense of unlawful storage of a firearm if a person stores a gun knowing that a juvenile could access it without permission or if a resident of the premises is ineligible to possess a firearm.

Similar bills this session have failed in Illinois, Kentucky, Montana, New Mexico and Virginia, said Allison Anderman, senior counsel at the Giffords gun safety advocacy group.

States that have passed laws requiring some level of firearms safe storage in past years include California, Connecticut and New York, Anderman said. Massachusetts is the only state that requires that all unattended firearms be stored with locking devices in place, according to Giffords.

D River Beach Health Advisory lifted June 1

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Oregon Health Authority (OHA) today lifted a public health advisory for contact with ocean water at D River Beach, located in Lincoln County. The agency issued the advisory May 27 after water samples showed higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters.

Results from follow-up tests taken by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) showed lower bacteria levels. Contact with the ocean water no longer poses a higher-than-normal risk.

Officials recommend staying out of large pools on the beach that are frequented by birds, and runoff from those pools, because the water may contain increased bacteria from fecal matter.

Since 2003, state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state agencies participating in this program include OHA, DEQ and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0440, or call the OHA toll-free information line at 877-290-6767. — Oregon Health Authority

Man Dies Swimming In Surf Off Oregon’s Rockaway Beach

Authorities say a 37-year-old man died after swimming in the surf off of Rockaway Beach in northwest Oregon on Memorial Day.

Man dies trying to rescue teen boogie boarding in ocean off Rockaway Beach  | News | kptv.com

The man was rescued by the Coast Guard after his mother, who was on scene at the Tillamook County beach, said she had lost sight of her son in the water.

The Coast Guard sent a crew aboard a 47-foot motor life boat and an air crew aboard a helicopter to look for the man.

The chopper crew located the man and deployed a rescue swimmer who brought him to shore, where he was given CPR but he did not survive.

13 People Stranded After 2 Boats Get Stuck In Mud On Oregon Coast

13 People Stranded After 2 Boats Get Stuck In Mud On Oregon Coast |  iHeartRadio

Thirteen people were stranded after two boats got stuck on mud in Tillamook Bay around 10 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies reached the boats and got the four “younger and coldest victims” onboard. They were taken to medical personnel at Memaloose Boat Ramp. Four other people were rescued by a second boat and five others swam back to shore before first responders arrived. 

Three people were treated for hypothermia at Adventist Health Tillamook Hospital.

The sheriff’s office said boaters regularly get stranded on mud and sand bars in Tillamook County’s bay and estuaries. The sheriff’s office gave some tips for boaters.

“Know where you are going, what the tides are, and what the weather conditions are forecasted to be,” said Deputy Kelly Awe.

“Always have enough personal floatation devices for everyone onboard, carry a suitable anchor, a fully charged cell phone, extra warm clothing and food and water onboard in case you have to sit and wait for the tide to come in.”

Deputy Awe also said stranded boaters should never attempt to swim back to shore because it takes only minutes for hypothermia to set in. Instead, they should call 911 and wait for rescuers to respond.

Bill Allowing To-Go Cocktails Permanently Passes Oregon House

 Oregon lawmakers passed Senate Bill 317 that would allow to-go cocktails to continue even after the coronavirus pandemic.

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Governor Kate Brown made to-go cocktails possible through an executive order, allowing restaurants to add them to their menus immediately as a way to help the industry that had been struggling due to the pandemic.

Senate Bill 317 allows businesses with full on-premise sales licenses to sell mixed drinks in sealed containers to be taken to-go, or have them delivered, forever–not just during the pandemic.

The bill passed the House floor Tuesday with a vote of 51-7. The Senate approved it at the end of March. It now goes to the governor.

Restaurant owners say to-go cocktails will provide a level of stability. “To-go cocktails aren’t going to save our businesses as a whole, but we need every single tool that’s available to us to be able to make our margins look a little bit better, because we are operating on the smallest of margins,” said Ricky Gomez, who owns Palomar. “This is something that will help with that and help consumers to stay outside.”

With to-go cocktails becoming a permanent staple at restaurants, owners say they plan to come up with better packaging and more options for customers.

One concern about making to-go cocktails was that there could be more drinking and driving instances. When this was temporary the police had said then they didn’t expect to see an increase since beer and wine is already allowed as a to-go item.

Keep Oregon Green Billboard Poster Contest

Keep Oregon Green is celebrating its 80-year history by unveiling its first billboard poster art contest. The Association is asking Oregonians of all ages to create and submit entries and share their vision for keeping Oregon free of wildfire.

“We are excited to celebrate our important milestone by offering this fun opportunity to all Oregon residents. As over 70% of Oregon’s wildfires are human-caused, the power of prevention is 100% our shared responsibility,” said Kristin Babbs, president of the Keep Oregon Green Association. “The purpose of the poster contest is to involve the public in helping reduce the number of carless wildfires we see each year and remind everyone how critical it is to prevent them.”

The contest opens on June 1, and the entry deadline is 5 p.m., August 9, 2021 (Smokey Bear’s birthday).

All submitted artwork will be reviewed in Fall of 2021, and Oregon will become an open-air art gallery in 2022, showcasing the first-place winning artwork on billboards at major intersections, highways and interstates across the state.

There will be three separate divisions based on age. Within each division will be first, second, and third-place winners. Cash prizes and certificates will be awarded to the first three people who place in each age division (grades 1-5; 6-12; and 18+ years). All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation.

Keep Oregon Green’s annual wildfire prevention campaigns encourage residents and visitors to practice basic wildfire safety while enjoying the outdoors. TV and radio commercials, social media posts and billboards provide daily reminders to be careful with activities that can spark a wildfire during the most critical time of year. This year’s campaign features stunning photos of Oregon’s iconic landscapes and the use of the #OregonOurOregon hashtag.

For more wildfire prevention inspiration, contest rules, prizes and information on how and where to send your artwork, go to https://keeporegongreen.org/kog-billboard-contest-submissions/

About the Keep Oregon Green Association:

For 80 years the Keep Oregon Green Association has been educating the public on the how to prevent wildfires. Beginning its efforts in April of 1941, after a public outcry over the human-caused Tillamook Burns, roughly 250 Oregon leaders came together to form Keep Oregon Green (KOG). KOG’s mission is to promote healthy landscapes and safe communities by educating the public of everyone’s shared responsibility to prevent human-caused wildfires. — Oregon Dept. of Forestry

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