Klamath Basin News, Monday, 8/9 – Bootleg Fire, Yanix Fire and Walrus Fire Updates; 4 Covid Related Deaths in Oregon, 970 New Cases

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Monday, August 9, 2021

Klamath Basin Weather

This Afternoon Widespread haze before 3pm. Patchy smoke after 3pm. Sunny, with a high near 91. West northwest wind 3 to 7 mph. Overnight mostly clear, with a low around 57.

Tuesday Widespread haze between 9am and noon. Patchy smoke between noon and 3pm. Sunny and hot, with a high near 97. Overnight low of 62.
Wednesday Sunny and hot, with a high near 99.
Thursday Sunny and hot, with a high near 100.
Friday Sunny and hot, with a high near 100.
Saturday Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 98.

Bootleg Fire Update, August 9, 2021   

Location: 28 miles northeast of Klamath Falls, OR             
Containment: 96% 
Size: 413,765 acres (647 square miles)
Personnel: 1,021                                                                         

Walrus Fire
 Location: 10.5 miles N of Bonanza       
 Size: 75 acres    
Containment 65%                                          
Yanix Fire   
 Location: 10 miles NE of Bonanza 
Size: 84 acres 
Containment: 50% 

Yesterday, Bootleg Fire Information announced significant progress was made on the northeast corner of the Bootleg Fire on Saturday, located 28 miles northeast of Klamath Falls.

The official containment, on the 413,765 acre fire, has grown to 96% due to hard fought effort by firefighters for nearly a month. Engine crews will continue patrolling the fire’s perimeter as a safety measure for the foreseeable future.

Crews and equipment will also continue efforts to return the fire line to a more natural state, which means repairing the impacts on the landscape caused during the initial and extended attack periods of the fire.

A Virtual Public Meeting will be held tonight at 7:30 pm to update the public on the current status of the Bootleg, Walrus, and Yainax Fires. The meeting will not be live but will be recorded and posted to Facebook and Inciweb. Fire manager will answer questions from the public submitted in advance. This will be the final public meeting.  

Firefighters continue to grid and mop up in the northeast corner of the Bootleg Fire near Silver Creek as they work toward achieving 100% containment. Control lines that have already been secured are being patrolled and firefighters are removing pumps and hose and other suppression supplies that are no longer needed. Some suppression repair activities are underway in the northeast corner of the fire.  

The women and men of the Oregon National Guard have completed their tour on the Bootleg Fire and are packing up today and preparing to head home tomorrow, many to get ready for immediate overseas deployments. The guardsmen and women played a crucial role in containing some critical areas of the fire, and we are thankful for their service. 

Ground resources on the Walrus and Yainax Fires have completed constructing containment lines and installing hose lays around both fires and are well into the mop-up phase. 

Due to the lessening need for suppression aircraft on all three fires, the Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) was lifted from the fire area last night.  Pilots should be aware that there will still be fire aircraft in the area and should exercise caution when flying near the fire. Forest closures remains in effect, please check with your local ranger district before entering national forest lands.   

Closures:  An emergency closure order is in effect for the Bootleg Fire on the Fremont-Winema National Forest to protect public and firefighter safety. All travel or entry into the area is prohibited.  The full closure order and map are available on the website under Alerts and Closures at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/fremont-winema/alerts-notices    

Red Cross Evacuation Shelters: For information or assistance: 1-800-Red-Cross (www.redcrossblog.org/disaster)   

Insurance Assistance: For additional information on submitting insurance claims after losing your home or property to a wildfire, please visit https://dfr.oregon.gov/insure/home/storm/Pages/wildfires.aspx or call the state’s team of consumer advocates at 888-877-4894 (toll-free).   

Fire Information Public Phone: 541-482-1331                                     Fire Information Media Phone: 971-727-7255  

Inciweb: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7609/                                          Facebook: www.facebook.com/BootlegFireInfo   

Twitter: twitter.com/BootlegFireInfo                                                    Hashtags: #BootlegFire #FireYear2021

In July, the number of dry water wells registered in Klamath County was at 84. A month later, that number has climbed to 185 as wells from the California state line all the way to Crescent and La Pine are getting low and going dry.

There are likely more unregistered dry wells in Klamath County. The county watermaster’s office said they receive daily calls from well owners asking how to register. And the Modoc County Sheriff shared a PSA on Facebook explaining what to do if someone in that county is without well water.

For now, well users in Klamath County are encouraged to continue registering dry wells with the watermaster in order to receive water storage tanks and water deliveries from the state. Tulelake is operating under a similar procedure, and asks water users to report dry wells directly to the Tulelake Irrigation District. Klamath County is working with the Oregon Department of Human Services to provide 500 gallon water storage tanks to people with dry wells.

County Commissioner Kelley Minty-Morris said approximately 75 tanks were delivered to people with dry wells as of July 30. Some needed the 500-gallon tanks to store water, but others were able to find their own. Regardless, everyone is struggling to fill them.

The Klamath County School District may urge Gov. Kate Brown to back off state-mandated COVID-19 mitigation strategies and return those powers back to the district and local public health department.

At its Aug. 19 meeting the district’s board will consider a resolution that, if passed, would urge Brown to change recent state COVID-19 mandates — including one that requires masks in public schools — into recommendations instead of requirements.

A letter from Superintendent Glen Szymoniak to the governor also calling for local control, will be sent to Brown’s office should the resolution pass. According to the proposed resolution, the district would work with Klamath County Public Health on COVID-19 mitigation strategies, instead of the state. Citing the spread of the more transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant, last week Brown issued an indoor mask mandate for ongoing public summer schools and for the upcoming school year.

Across the state, many smaller and rural districts have taken a similar tact, calling on the governor’s office to return the decision-making powers back to the districts.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints came through in the nick of time — again. Last year, Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank received a semi-truckload of food just before COVID shut everything down. On July 22, 2021, the organization received another truckload. This tremendous donation of food will help feed kids through summer and assist those affected by the Bootleg Fire

A 24-year-old man was arrested Thursday in connection with an alleged drive-by shooting in Chiloquin the same day. Ivan Allen Fernandez — also identified in court documents with the last name Hood — was charged with two counts of unlawful use of weapon, felon in possession of a firearm, criminal mischief first degree and two misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering another person.

On Thursday, Fernandez, of Chiloquin, allegedly drove by a residence in the 300 block of Lalakes Avenue and fired a handgun multiple times, striking a vehicle in the driveway and causing over an estimated $1,000 in damage, a probable cause statement in Klamath County Circuit Court showed. At the time, there were five individuals inside the residence and one of them identified Fernandez, the statement showed.

Additionally, law enforcement found .22 caliber rounds in the center console of the vehicle Fernandez was seen driving.

Klamath Falls City Streets division crews will be performing work in Klamath Falls Aug. 9-13 from 2:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the following locations: Asphalt crew will be performing asphalt dig outs and paving:

  • Aug. 9 – 900 block of N. 9th St. and the end of Coli St.
  • Aug. 10 – 400 block of Roosevelt St.
  • Aug. 11 – S. 11th St. between Walnut Ave. and Oak Ave.
  • Aug. 12 – 600 block of Conger Ave., 1200 block of Crescent Ave., N. 7th St. between Pine St. and Main St. along with the intersection of Lincoln St. and North 10th St.

Paint Crew will be applying thermo plastic arrows, skips and painting: 

Around the state of Oregon

The Oregon Health Authority on Friday announced four COVID-19 deaths and 970 new coronavirus cases, as well as another surge in hospitalizations and a new record in the number of patients in intensive care.

The agency also said the number of new cases was an undercount due to technical issues that created a backlog of unprocessed reports. The Oregon Health Authority no longer reports cases, deaths and hospitalizations over the weekend. New numbers won’t be available until Monday afternoon.

A Josephine County individual has died from complications relating to a COVID-19 infection.

A 75-year-old woman tested positive for COVID-19 Aug. 1 and died Aug. 5 at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass. She had underlying conditions. She had not been vaccinated for COVID-19.

Josephine County now has a total of 83 COVID-19-related deaths. Of those patients, 82 died from complications relating to COVID-19 infections.

 As coronavirus cases continue to spike in Oregon, health officials describe the dire situation they are seeing play out in hospitals — especially among unvaccinated people.

As of Friday, 496 people are hospitalized in Oregon due to COVID-19.

Based on data from the state health authority, the state’s record of people hospitalized was 622 during November’s surge when vaccine doses were not yet available.

As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Oregon, some counties — most where less than half of the area’s adult population is vaccinated — are experiencing their highest hospitalization numbers during the pandemic. In the southwest hospital region, which includes Jackson and Josephine counties, between 49% and 55% of adults have been vaccinated. This week the region’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have reached an all time high for the area with 100 people. The previous record of coronavirus-related hospitalizations in the region was 69 in January.

The Oregon Health authority says the three available COVID-19 vaccines serve as an effective shield against virus-related hospitalizations.

In a press release, OHA states that The data tracked hospitalized COVID-19 patients aged 65 and older between Feb. 1 through April 30, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET), which includes all Oregon hospitals in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties and covers approximately 43% of Oregon’s population.

The conclusions confirm the findings of earlier clinical vaccine trials that demonstrated a dramatically lower risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 among fully vaccinated people.  According to the vaccine effectiveness study, the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines reduced the risk of hospitalization by 96% and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine reduced the risk of hospitalization by 84% in adults 65-74 years old. A previous study released by the CDC reported similar results.

Congressman Cliff Bentz invites people of Lake County to attend a town hall for an update on the Congressman’s work in Washington, DC.

The event will be held Wednesday, August 11, 2021, at 11:00 AM in the Veterans Memorial Hall of the Lake County Courthouse, 513 Center Street, Lakeview, OR 97630. The State of Oregon recommends mask-wearing in public, indoor settings regardless of vaccination status. The in-person, indoor event will begin with brief remarks, followed by questions and answers with the audience.

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