Klamath Basin News, Friday, 5/26/23 – Memorial Day Weekend Arrives; Parade and Flyovers from 173rd Fighter Wing; Heavy Weekend Travel Expected

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Friday, May 26, 2023

Klamath Basin Weather

Sunny, with a high near 78. Northwest winds to 11mph. Clear overnight with a low near 49.
A 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 76. West northwest winds to 11 mph. Slight chance of showers overnight, low around 49.
A 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 75. North northeast wind around 6 mph.
Monday Memorial Day
Mostly sunny, with a high near 80. Clear overnight with a low of 50.
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 78.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 76.
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 72.

Today’s Headlines

173rd FW to conduct Memorial Day flyovers in Oregon

KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. – The 173rd Fighter Wing out of Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon will conduct Memorial Day flyovers on Monday for ceremonies at locations throughout Oregon.

F-15 Eagle fighter jets are scheduled to conduct flyovers at the following community locations at, or around, the designated times on Monday, May 29,2023. 
10:15 a.m. Reedsport Cemetery, Reedsport, Ore.                                                                                                            10:30 a.m. Gold Beach Veteran’s Memorial, Gold Beach, Ore.
11:00 a.m. Veterans Park, Klamath Falls, Ore.
11:20 a.m. Eagle Point National Cemetery, Eagle Point, Ore.
11:40 a.m. Roseburg National Cemetery, Roseburg, Ore.
12:15 p.m. Riverside Park, Grants Pass, Ore.

All passes will be approximately 1,000 feet above ground level and about 400 mph airspeed. Flights could be cancelled or times changed due to inclement weather or operational contingencies.

The Oregon Air National Guard has been an integral part of the nation’s air defense since 1941.  The 173rd FW is home to the sole F-15C pilot training facility for the United States Air Force.


Great news for Klamath County and Kingsley Field. The Air Force has selected the Oregon Air National Guard’s 173rd Fighter Wing as the preferred location to host the service’s next F-35A Lightning II training squadron.

The F-35A is the Air Force’s latest and most-capable fifth-generation fighter. The basing decision announced Thursday becomes final when a Record of Decision is signed upon favorable completion of an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposal now underway.

Kingsley Field is an integral piece of the Air Force’s modernization plan. Our vast airspace, a culture of excellence, and unprecedented community support make us a viable fit to continue our legacy of training the next generation of fighter pilots.

The F-35A Lightning II provides next-generation stealth capabilities to the U.S. and many U.S. ally and partner nations with its aerodynamic performance, advanced integrated avionics, enhanced situational awareness and increased survivability. The F-35A is considered the cornerstone of the future fighter fleet and guarantees the long-term viability of the 173rd FW and continuation of its vital air superiority mission for many years to come.

The 173rd FW has been the premiere F-15C training base for the United States Air Force since 1998. The single-seat F-15C and two-seat F-15D models entered the inventory beginning in 1979. The service is looking to replace the legacy fighters with state-of-the-art aircraft to better address future mission requirements.

With this basing decision, new construction or remodeling of existing facilities will occur; however, Kingsley Field already offers much of the infrastructure needed. Any construction would begin after the ROD is signed, expected in 2025 with first F-35 aircraft to follow.


After four years, a trial date has been set for the $11.75 million federal lawsuit against the City of Klamath Falls.

Estimated to cover five days, Cisneros v. City of Klamath Falls is set for trial beginning at 9 a.m. Jan. 8, 2024, in Medford with a pretrial conference taking place in December.

Filed back in 2019, plaintiffs Elizabeth and Antonio Cisneros, former owners of Mexican restaurant El Palacio, alleged that Klamath Falls and the Klamath Falls Police Department (KFPD) at the direction of former KFPD Chief Dave Henslee, former City Manager Nathan Cherpeski and former City Councilor Kendall Bell violated their 14th Amendment equal protection due process constitutional rights by discriminating against them and targeting them for a higher level of law enforcement activity.

The plaintiffs state in the lawsuit that KFPD, at the direction of Henslee, made patrols of El Palacio, including walk-throughs of the premises and that they were being treated differently from other similarly situated non-Hispanic establishments.

The city “failed to apply its laws uniformly and has used race as a basis for making these decisions,” the lawsuit claims.

According to court documents, the defendants assert they were attempting to address criminal activity within the downtown area arguing that law enforcement incidents were occurring as a result of the Cisneros failing to abate the over-consumption of alcohol at El Palacio.

Evidence submitted to the court revealed that a high level of alcohol-related criminal activity was happening in the downtown area.

While Klamath Falls did submit an extensive amount of evidence to dispute, presiding Judge Ann Aiken said it is not the court’s role to determine which set of facts is more plausible and that a jury should weigh the evidence and make the determination if the allegations against Klamath Falls are true.


On Monday, May 22, 2023, at approximately 6:21 A.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on Hwy 140E, near milepost 16, in Klamath County.

The preliminary investigation indicated a Toyota Sienna minivan, operated by Guy Robert Attride (51) of Klamath Falls, was westbound when the vehicle went off the roadway for an unknown reason, overcorrected back onto the roadway, and rolled several times before coming to rest on its tires. 

Attride was declared deceased at the scene.  A female passenger was ejected from the vehicle and transported via Airlink with serious injuries.  The passenger has not been identified at this time.

OSP was assisted by Klamath County Fire District 1 and Bonanza Fire.


Lighting Strikes Ignite Two Fires In Fremont-Winema NF NE Of Chiloquin

Press release by the Klamath Tribes of Oregon.

The Klamath Tribes are working with the Forest Service and Type 3 incident Management Team to assist with location and protection of cultural resources

CHILOQUIN, Ore. – The Dillon Creek and Doe fires were discovered on May 20. Both fires were started by lightning. The fires are on the Fremont-Winema National Forest. They are located about 40 miles Northeast of Chiloquin near Jackson Creek.

An interagency Type 3 Incident Management Team has been assigned. Five Hotshot Crews, nine engines and three dozers are assigned. Base camp for the fire personnel is located near the US Fish & Wildlife Klamath Forest Marsh headquarters.

The Klamath Tribes are working with the Forest Service and the Type 3 incident Management Team to assist with location and protection of cultural resources. Crews and engines are working around the indirect perimeter of the fires to strengthen containment lines by cutting and removing brush and cutting lower limbs of trees adjacent to the containment lines.

The objectives for management of the fires are to use them to restore forest conditions so that they are more resilient and productive. Large, old trees will be protected while many younger trees and shrubs that compete with old trees will be burned. Surface fuels will be burned that would otherwise contribute to high intensity fires if burned later in the season under hotter and drier conditions.

The plans for these fires are to contain them within a system of roads that analysis indicates are the safest and most effective areas to stop the fires. Crews will burn out from these roads to prevent the fires from rapid runs and spotting across the roads later in the week or next week if strong winds occur. The crews have three drones capable of aerially firing operations available to use. Burning out operations are planned to commence today. Incident Commander Evan Wright stated that he believes they can complete all firing operations by this weekend and return the fire to local district personnel by mid-week next week (ay 31st). The final fire size is estimated to be about 3,000 acres.

Current and forecasted weather is favorable for completing all containment operations successfully.


Sky Lakes Medical Center would like to congratulate Oregon Tech and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) for The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.

This will provide comprehensive entry-level and postbaccalaureate DPT education, preparing high quality graduates with the skills to become practitioners, which is in high demand in our area. Sky Lakes realizes the importance of specialized training that focuses on giving students the skills and experience to serve rural communities and treat a variety of physical therapy needs.

In the release, Sky Lakes says, “We acknowledge the huge effort that went into bringing this program to our area and we are excited for the potential to work with future students. It is great to have additional academic programs to help draw providers to our area. Sky Lakes is ready and willing to support Oregon Tech and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) in the future as a partner for clinical rotation placements and a longterm employer serving rural Southern Oregon.”

Sky Lakes Medical Center is a community-owned, internationally accredited acute-care hospital licensed for 176 beds. Sky Lakes is among the region’s largest employers. The Sky Lakes family includes a full range of inpatient and outpatient services, a home health agency, and the award-winning Sky Lakes Cancer Treatment Center.


Klamath County Fire District 1 has received delivery of a new fire engine after nearly one year of construction.

The new fire engine was made possible due to a successful Assistance to Firefighters Grant received in 2021. Due to inflation and rising costs, if ordered today, the engine would have a price tag of nearly $800,000.

The Fire District’s proactive pursuit of grant opportunities has proven to be critical to their ability to fund large purchases. The Engine will be housed at Station 1 on Gettle Street.  It has been assigned truck number 3111.


The Klamath County Board of Commissioners has announced the Tingley Lane Transfer Station will reopen on June 1, 2023, at 8:00 AM.  

Following a catastrophic fire at the Transfer Station, on May 16, 2021, all Transfer Station services through Rogue Klamath Transfer were moved to a temporary site at the County landfill while the Transfer Station was rebuilt.  

The Board of Commissioners would like to thank the public for their patience through the rebuilding process; and thank all County and Rogue Klamath Transfer staff for their diligence and hard work to ensure the Transfer Station rebuild was completed quickly and efficiently while services continued uninterrupted to area citizens.  

The Board of Commissioners will host a Grand Opening ribbon cutting at the Transfer Station, 4005 Tingley Lane, on Thursday June 1st, at 1:30 in the afternoon.


Hunter Communications Offers Scholarships to Veterans and Active Military

Medford, Ore. – Hunter Communications, an Oregon-based fiber-optic internet and
communications services provider, proudly announces the three winners of the Justin Jenkins Military Scholarship. The scholarship fund, created by Hunter Communications in memory of the late employee Justin Jenkins, a US Marine Corps veteran, funded three $2,500 Military Appreciation Scholarships for Veterans and active military personnel in the counties it serves.

Congratulations to:
Ryan Miller – Veneta, OR
Ryan Miller is a person of unwavering integrity and dedication. From his time in the United States Air
Force, where he excelled in maintaining aircraft and upheld the core values of excellence, service, and
integrity, to his present endeavors in video production and customer service, Ryan consistently goes the
extra mile. His commitment to delivering the best possible work, providing valuable information, and
fostering strong relationships with customers is a testament to his character. With a desire for continued
growth and education, Ryan’s determination to excel in his field is matched only by his passion for
helping others and making a positive impact.

Jim Cupples – Springfield, OR
A Marine and dedicated telecommunications professional, Jim embodies the values of honor, service,
and compassion. Reflecting on the parallels between himself and Justin Jenkins, Jim deeply appreciates
the guiding principles set forth by Hunter Communications. Putting people first and practicing servant
leadership, Jim’s genuine care and support have positively impacted the lives of others. Making things
easy for customers by going the extra mile has been instrumental in Jim’s personal success. Grateful for
the opportunity provided by Hunter Communications, Jim expresses admiration for their commitment to
remembering loved ones and upholding the Marine ethos of “Semper Fidelis.” Jim Cupples’ character is
a testament to his unwavering dedication to serving others and embodying the values he holds dear.

Lyn Sheperd – Central Point, OR
A former US Marine with a passion for serving others, Lyn embodies the principles of compassion,
integrity, and leadership. As a Registered Nurse, Lyn’s dedication is evident in his extensive experience in
the Emergency Room and his commitment to supporting veterans through the Veterans Health
Administration. Upholding the values of putting people first and doing the right thing, Lyn fosters
inclusivity, transparency, and excellence in his nursing practice. Known for going the extra mile, Lyn’s
recent acceptance into a prestigious Doctor of Nursing Practice program showcases his unwavering
commitment to providing exceptional leadership and advocating for the well-being of veterans. Lyn
Sheperd’s character is defined by his selfless dedication, servant leadership, and unwavering advocacy
for those he serves.

The program received many applicants from eligible candidates who were enrolled or enrolling within
the next year in a two- or four-year college or university, trade school, flight school, apprenticeship, or
similar program. After careful evaluation of the applications, the three winners have been selected by a
panel of veteran and non-veteran Hunter Communications employees and awarded the scholarships in
recognition of their exceptional commitment to service.

Hunter Communications thanks all the applicants who submitted their essays detailing how they have
exhibited one, some, or all the company’s values, and recognizes their contributions to our nation’s
interests and values.

“Our commitment to honoring veterans and active military personnel runs deep at Hunter
Communications. The Justin Jenkins Military Scholarship reflects our gratitude and dedication to
supporting and serving those who have served us all,” said Hunter Communications CEO Michael
Wynschenk. “It is our honor to offer educational opportunities in memory of Justin, a true hero.”
To show appreciation for their service, Hunter Communications also extends a Military Appreciation
Offer that saves households of Veterans and active military personnel up to $30 per month.

For more information, visit https://hunterfiber.com/military.

About Hunter Communications
Headquartered in Medford, Oregon, Hunter Communications has established a legacy of service
excellence and commitment to local communities. With multi-Gig speeds, no data caps, and competitive
pricing, Hunter’s 3,000-plus mile fiber network is nationally recognized for performance and reliability.  PC Magazine recognized Hunter as the top internet service provider for gamers in the Northwest in 2022.
In 2020, BroadbandNow recognized Hunter with four Internet Service Provider Awards, including for
fastest business internet speeds in Oregon and among the top 10 nationwide.  To learn more about our plans or to sign up for service, visit hunterfiber.com or call 541-772-9282.


A new music festival opens in extreme northern Klamath County this weekend.

On Sunday, May 28th, starting at 3:30PM,  the inaugural Two River’s Festival will hit the stage at Two Rivers General Store, 11061 Chinquapin in Crescent, Oregon.

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at door. Children 10 and younger will get in free.

“Come support your local artists and enjoy Two River’s General Store one-year anniversary,” the release states. “There will be food, drinks, merch and dancing to music all night long. We look forward to seeing everyone this year and starting an awesome annual festival.”

The featured musical acts will be:

  • 5 p.m.: Tony Buckman

“Don’t miss this Redmond native who is sure to make you wanna “slurrrp” your way through the night,” the release states.

  • 7 p.m.: Trever Tagle

“A Salem artist who sure does know how to get the crowd up on their feet and ready to dance the night away,” the release states. “Did somebody say two-step?”

  • 9 p.m.: Austin Lindstrom

Attendees are advised to bring along their IDs. The release states Two Rivers General Store will provide drinks along with food carts.


Around the state of Oregon

Outdoor summer safety for Memorial Day weekend and beyond

While taking advantage of the beautiful Oregon summer, here are resources for preventing injury and illness in seasonal settings.

OSP Tips for Travel This Weekend

This Memorial Day Weekend, whether you are headed to the beach, camping, visiting family, or just commuting to work, remember highways are going to be filled with people doing the same. No matter what your plans are on this Memorial Day weekend, we can guarantee that there will be a rise in the number of cars on Oregon’s highways.

The Oregon State Police takes these historically high-traffic weekends to have what we call an “All Patrol Day”. All Patrol Day for OSP is the day that all sworn members travel the highways to increase our patrol presence during these busy weekends.

The Oregon State Police has a wide range of programs and specialties our sworn ranks are in charge of, such as major crimes, tribal gaming, lottery security, arson, collision reconstruction, fish & wildlife, explosives, K-9, aviation, and more. OSP leadership makes it a priority that at the end of the day, all sworn members need to stay in tune and up-to-date with why the Oregon State Police was founded to keep our highways safe.

OSP is one of many Law Enforcement agencies that will be out in force trying to ensure that all travelers are getting to their destination safely.

We want everyone to be safe when they are traveling, so we suggest that you follow these simple tips.  Please, plan ahead, be prepared, and above all else be patient.

– Timing your departure can make all the difference. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination without getting frustrated when heavy traffic puts a pause on your travels.

– Know your routes and options if you come across detours or construction. OSP likes to encourage all drivers in Oregon to use the Oregon Department of Transportation www.tripcheck.com.

– Ensure your vehicle is properly equipped and in good working order to avoid maintenance emergencies

– If you are traveling with children, have something to keep them occupied. Games, snacks, and pillows for sleeping will not only keep them occupied, but they will keep your attention where it is needed, on the road.

Oregon State Troopers will be focusing on maintaining the flow of traffic as well as enforcing all traffic laws but especially the Fatal 5. These 5 major categories of driving behaviors contribute to most fatal or serious injury crashes.


If you will be one of the many traveling this weekend, remember that OSP will be out in force. Drive safe!

Additional Safety Messaging in partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation. The month of May highlights many national transportation safety messages. The big takeaway from all the campaigns is to drive, bike, and ride thoughtfully. Watch out for fellow road users and our maintenance and construction crews. Remember to slow down and move over to give our emergency responders space to safely do their jobs.

Memorial Day weekend – Expect heavier traffic over Memorial Day weekend. Consider other ways to reach your destination that mean you don’t have to sit behind the wheel in traffic. Public transportation, buses and trains are all great alternatives. Plan to stay local? Think about how to get around town without driving to reduce the number of cars on the road.

Planning ahead – Tripcheck.com has live cameras all over the state so you can see what the conditions look like along your route and at your destination. To check for construction delays, look for traffic cone icons on the map.

While a lot of our construction work will pause over Memorial Day weekend, some impacts and delays will remain. Here are some areas that could see extra congestion.

In Portland, work along the OR 217 for the auxiliary lane safety project could cause minor delays. Work will be scaled back through the holiday weekend.

In Bend, four new roundabouts are coming to U.S. 20 on the north end of Bend. Expect some delays traveling through this area.

On U.S. 26 between Mount Hood and Warm Springs, a 15-mile stretch of highway with poor pavement condition recently had a speed reduction to 45 mph.

If you plan to recreate or travel between Bend and Eugene, remember that McKenzie Pass, OR 242, is still closed. The earliest opening date for everyone is the third Monday in June. If you plan to take OR 58 over Willamette Pass, there are several work zones to keep an eye out for around Oakridge.

Following Memorial Day weekend, summer travel and construction begins to ramp up. We want to ensure your entire season of travel is both safe and enjoyable. As you plan your adventures, make use of our summer travel tips and resources website. On this site, you’ll find valuable insights to navigate through Oregon’s construction and wildfire season, and safety and preparedness tips for all the ways you travel Oregon’s transportation system. Bookmark this resource to become a seasoned summer travel all-star!


A fund has been established by the Oregon Farm Bureau for survivors and surviving family members of last week’s traffic crash near Albany that killed seven farmworkers, according to PODER, an Oregon Latino leadership network organization.

As of Wednesday morning, the GoFundMe had raised more than $20,000 toward its $55,000 goal, according to the GoFundMe page.

On May 19, a northbound semi-truck struck a Ford Econoline van parked alongside Interstate 5 near the Santiam Rest Area, Oregon State Police officials said. OSP said the impact pushed the van, which was transporting the farmworkers home, into another semi-truck parked in front of it.

To contribute to the fund, visit the OFB Farmworker Families
GoFundMe account.


JUN 3 AT 5 AM – JUN 4 AT 9 PM

Free Fishing Weekend, June 3-4, 2023

Everyone can fish, clam and crab for free in Oregon on Saturday and Sunday of the first weekend of June.
No fishing/shellfish licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag or Columbia River Basin Endorsement or Two-Rod Validation) are required on those two days (June 3-4, 2023). Both Oregon residents and nonresidents can fish for free. Oregon State Parks also offers free parking and camping on Saturday, June 3.
All other fishing regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions. See the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations (https://www.eregulations.com/oregon) for rules. Remember to check for any in season regulation changes at the Recreation Report (https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report) especially for salmon and steelhead fishing. Click on the zone where you want to fish and then click the “Regulation Updates” tab to see the in-season changes.
The Recreation Report is updated weekly and features the best bests for fishing for the upcoming week.
Expect lots of extra rainbow trout to be stocked in Oregon’s lakes for the weekend; more fish are stocked during the next two weeks (for Memorial Day and June Free Fishing Weekend) than at any other time of year. See the trout stocking schedule (https://myodfw.com/fishing/species/trout/stocking-schedule) for more information.
It’s also a great weekend to try clamming or clamming. This year, June free fishing days coincide with a minus tide (with low tides on the coast getting below the average low water mark by one or even two feet), creating ideal conditions for clamming. MyODFW.com has all the information you need to get started clamming or crabbing including maps of locations and how-to’s.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture regularly tests shellfish and closes areas when naturally occurring biotoxins get to levels that make crabs and clams unsafe to eat. As of today, razor clamming is open from Tillamook Head (just south of Seaside) north to the Washington border but closed south of Tillamook head to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid. Crabbing is open coastwide.
Closures can happen quickly and may change before Free Fishing Weekend. Remember to call the ODA Shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-448-2474 or check their Shellfish page (https://www.oregon.gov/…/pages/shellfishclosures.aspx) before you go.
ODFW staff and a number of fishing organizations will host events throughout the state on Free Fishing Weekend, bringing all the gear beginners need to get started. Staff and volunteers will hand out fishing equipment and be available to teach how to bait, cast, land and clean your catch.
Events are being held at following events and times, see the Family Fishing Events page (https://myodfw.com/…/family-fishing-events-free-fishing…) for more information.
Saturday, June 3
• Alsea, Oregon Hatchery Research Center, 7 a.m-2 p.m.
• Camp Sherman, Wizard Falls Hatchery, 9 a.m.-noon (for ages 10 and younger)
• Enterprise, Marr Pond, 8 a.m.-noon
• Estacada, Small Fry Lake, Promontory Park, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (for ages 17 and younger)
• Eugene, Alton Baker Park, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
• Gaston, Henry Hagg Lake, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Silverton at Silverton Reservoir, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
• Sutherlin, Cooper Creek Reservoir, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Toledo, Olalla Reservoir, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Ukiah, Twin Ponds, 9 a.m.-noon. Note trophy trout will not be stocked for this event due to disease concerns with these trout; other legal-size trout will be stocked.
Sunday, June 4
• Lake Marie, Reedsport, Noon- 5 p.m.

Six tips to keep campfires safe and enjoyable this season

Gathering around the campfire is a highlight for many visitors at Oregon State Parks. If you follow some basic guidelines, you can enjoy this tradition safely and reduce the risk of injury and wildfires.

Wildfire is a real danger in Oregon despite the wet and snowy spring. That’s why the No. 1 precaution you can take is to follow posted fire restrictions. At times, campfires and other open flames may be banned in campgrounds or on the beach.

Campfire at Minam State Recreation Area

Restrictions can happen at any time and with little warning, depending on conditions. Be sure to research conditions for the area near where you’re camping just before you head out. Fire restrictions may be in place at the park, county or state level. The Oregon State Parks website will post the latest information about campfires in state parks.

Restrictions may be in place even though the park is far from any wildfires. When wildfires rage, emergency responders and firefighters need to be on the front lines. We ask campers to do their part to make sure an emergency at the campground doesn’t pull resources from the statewide firefighting effort.

“If you’re camping with children or others who are new to outdoor recreation, it’s particularly important to review campfire safety practices,” said Chris Havel, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) associate director. “If you have a question or a concern, talk with a park ranger or camp host.”

OPRD offers these six tips for a safe and enjoyable campfire:

  1. Maintain campfire flames at knee height (no more than 2 feet high). A smaller flame helps prevent embers from rising into the trees or dry vegetation. If you see the wind stirring up embers, play it safe and put the fire out.
  2. In a state park campground, only build campfires in the existing fire ring in your campsite. Fire rings are placed in areas with buffer zones and away from vegetation.
  3. Always keep plenty of water on hand to safely put out the campfire. Douse the flames with water and stir the embers to make sure everything is wet. The stirring step is important: ash and wood debris often maintain heat. Repeat these steps until the fire no longer emits heat.
  4. Beach campfires should be on open sand and away from driftwood or vegetation and use only natural wood, rather than pallets or anything else that might have hidden nails or screws. Slowly pour water on your beach fire to put it out. Pouring water too quickly can cause hot sand to fly up. Don’t use sand to put out a beach fire. Covering the fire with sand will insulate the coals, keeping them hot enough to burn someone hours or days later.
  5. For propane fire rings, follow the same safety precautions you would with a log-based campfire. The use of propane fire rings may be restricted depending on local conditions.
  6. Make sure everyone in your campsite is familiar with campfire safety, including children. Always keep an eye on your campfire; many accidental fires are started because campers left their fire unattended for “just a minute.”

In addition to keeping your campfire safe, it’s also important to make sure your wood is free from invasive insects to keep our forests safe from the deadly emerald ash borer and other pests. Please do not bring firewood from outside the local area. Buy local firewood within 10 miles of your destination or buy certified heat-treated firewood.

During May, the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, the Office of Emergency Management, Keep Oregon Green, the U.S. Forest Service, OPRD and other federal, state and local emergency and response agencies are encouraging the public to work together in their local communities to prevent the risk of wildfire.

Information about recreation and wildfire safety is at keeporegongreen.org. Visit stateparks.oregon.gov for information about Oregon State Parks including fire restrictions and safety guidelines.


Grants Pass Getting Ready for Boatnik this weekend!

Boatnik 2023 Grants Pass, OR
May 26th – 29th
May be an image of crowd and text
In planning for the 2023 Memorial Day / Boatnik celebration, the Grants Pass Police Department and the Active Club would like to make our citizens aware of the following information:
• 6th Street will be closed to all vehicle traffic (except for parade entrants) from “A” Street to the River. The road closure will be from 8:00 am until after the parade, approximately 1:00 pm. During the parade, traffic will be diverted from 6th Street at “A” Street to Beacon, then onto the Grants Pass Parkway. Traffic can then divert to I-5 or onto the Parkway.
• The 6th Street (Caveman) Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic during the parade. The closure will be on Saturday, May 276h from approximately 8:00 am until 1:00 pm. Those persons wishing to travel south of the Rogue River need to leave earlier or plan to use the Grants Pass Parkway Bridge.
• No parking will be allowed at the following locations from Friday, May 26th at midnight until after the Boatnik parade on Saturday, May 276h:
-6th Street from just north of “A” Street to the Caveman Bridge
-Voorhies between 6th and 7th Streets
• Dogs are discouraged along the parade route.
• Parade Attendees must stand/sit no closer to the parade than immediately adjacent to the curb within the parking stalls on 6th Street. This will ensure the safety of the attendees, keep pedestrians out of the roadway and allow everyone to see the parade from a good vantage point.
• East Park Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 6:00 am Friday, May 26th through Monday, May 29th at 9:00 pm. Vehicles with a Boatnik parking permit or Handicap parking permit will be allowed to enter East Park Street via the Parkway entrance only.
• Baker Park will be closed to vehicle traffic and boat launching from Friday, May 26th through Monday, May 28th.


Officials Warn Dangerous River Conditions in Southern Oregon

Springtime recreationists on the Rogue, Applegate, and Illinois rivers are being warned of colder-than-average water conditions, river CFS of above 4550, and new strainers/hazards. May be an image of text that says 'Grants Oregon PRESS RELEASE DANGEROUS CONDITIONS ROGUE, ILLINOIS, AND APPLEGATE RIVERS'

“The water temperature in the Rogue River is currently in the low 50s, which is significantly colder than average for this time of year,” said Wayne Nelson, Battalion Chief with Grants Pass Fire Rescue. “This cold water can cause hypothermia, even with experienced swimmers.

In addition, the river CFS is currently above 4550, which is considered high water. This high water can make it difficult to control a boat or raft and can also increase the risk of strainers.”

Strainers are submerged objects that can trap swimmers and boaters. They can be trees, logs, or even man-made objects like bridge pilings. If a swimmer or boater is trapped in a strainer, they can quickly drown.

Please take the following safety precautions:

•           Wear a life jacket.
•           Check the river conditions before you go.
•           Be aware of your surroundings.
•           Don’t swim or boat alone.
•           Be prepared to get out of the water quickly if necessary.
•           Always let others know your river plan, including time in and place and expected time out and location.

“By following these safety precautions, you can help to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable springtime on the river.”

Current Rogue River data

Current Applegate River Data

Current Illinois River data


How to make the most of your Vacation Budget. Tip from Umpqua Bank

Create a solid saving and spending plan for your upcoming travels this season

Memorial Day weekend kicks off the unofficial start to summer: a time for outdoor activities, evenings spent grilling with friends and family and, of course, summer vacations.

Whether you’re planning to hit the road or take to the skies, there are some important financial considerations when planning your next trip. As you dream about your next vacation, Umpqua Bank is offering tips to help you make the most of your trip with a solid plan to save and spend this summer season—and avoid falling victim to a vacation scam.

“We all deserve to take time to rest, relax and rejuvenate when the weather gets warmer,” says Neal Brown, Southern Oregon & Siskiyou Market Region Manager at Umpqua Bank. “But to make the most of your time away, it’s important that you create a plan and stick to it so you stay on budget, maximize your trip and return without vacation guilt.” 

Here are Neal’s top tips heading into travel season:

  1. Set a budget and plan your trip around it. Take a good look at your finances and set realistic expectations for what you can afford without accruing vacation debt. For example, if you have your heart set on a specific location, consider traveling in the “shoulder season” (outside of peak travel times, typically in spring or early fall). Or, if you’re just looking to get away, research destination options that may help you save. Remember: Your budget should include everything—not just the flight and hotel. Think about costs for meals, transportation at your destination and any excursions you’d like to go on. This will give you a far more realistic expectation of the total cost.
  2. Start a dedicated vacation fund. It’s never too late to start saving for your next vacation—even if it’s already booked. If your travel fund is mixed in with your general savings account, it can be tempting to dip into the fund for other expenses. Consider opening a separate savings account specifically for your vacation fund, which will help you keep an eye on exactly where you’re at financially. You can even set up recurring automatic payments from your checking account to this savings account to contribute regularly. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it adds up!
  3. Use credit sparingly—but to your advantage. It can be easy to fall into the trap of using your credit card to pay for a vacation without paying it off right away, but that sets you up for fees and interest that add up long after your trip is over. You can, however, use a credit card to your advantage. Many credit cards offer perks such as earning rewards for everyday purchases that can be redeemed for airfare, hotels and more. And, a credit card often offers additional (and significant) advantages like trip cancellation coverage or no foreign transaction fees. Just be sure to read the fine print of what a credit card offers!

And, with these tips in mind, it’s also more important than ever to keep an eye out for scammers trying to take advantage of the increased interest in hotel, flight and vacation bookings. 

“Scammers are incredibly opportunistic, and increasingly savvy,” says Jon Stockton, Umpqua Bank’s Director of Fraud. “They are always inventing new ways to make something seem legitimate when it’s not—which means it’s important to stay extra vigilant.” 

Here are some helpful tips to avoid turning your dream trip into a nightmare—and a big headache—due to a vacation scam:

  1. Verify Your Booking Site: Before you book your ticket, do some research. Does the website have a verifiable physical address and phone number? Do they have any Better Business Bureau complaints that might make you pause? When in doubt, booking directly from an airline or hotel is your safest bet—but remember, scammers are getting more and more clever, so double check that the website URL is the verified site of the company you are intending to book from.
  2. Use Reputable Vacation Rental Services: Scammers often fabricate or even steal real rental property information to create fraudulent booking sites in an attempt to steal your information. If possible, call ahead to confirm a rental’s availability and speak to an actual person. And, use reputable vacation rental services that offer fraud protection.
  3. Utilize Your Credit Card: Using a credit card often offers you more peace of mind because they have additional built-in protections against fraud, including things like vacation protection. Be wary of the payment methods your booking site is requesting; if they require you to wire the funds or provide a cashier’s check, it’s likely a scam.
  4. Protect Yourself While You’re Out: Always keep your purse or wallet on you and in your possession when you’re traveling. Even a quick stop at a gas station or rest area is an invitation for an opportunistic scammer to snatch it. And, be sure to take note of any numbers or records you may need in the event you have to report a stolen or lost card to your financial institution. Remember: If you find yourself a victim (or suspected victim) of a scam, be sure to call your financial institution right away to start the process of reporting a stolen card or compromised account.

“Every year, we see scammers taking advantage of people trying to find a good deal,” Stockton says. “Just remember that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is—whether it’s a flight deal or an ultra-cheap vacation rental. Be extra careful and perform your own due diligence to verify their authenticity.” 

With these tips in mind and a plan in place, you can be confident that you’re maximizing your next big trip—and feeling good that you won’t come back with vacation-related guilt. 


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