88.25 F
Klamath Falls
July 21, 2024

Klamath Basin News, Tuesday, 7/9/24 – 18 yr. old Bonanza Woman Loses Life in Car Crash; Shelly Fire Update; Extreme Fire Restrictions Remain In Effect This Week; Basin Cooling Centers Available All Week; Salt Creek Fire Update

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 and News, and BasinLife.com, and powered by Mick Insurance. Call 541-882-6476.


Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Klamath Basin Weather

Widespread haze with patchy smoke all day. Sunny and hot, with a high near 98. West northwest winds 6 to 9 mph. Overnight, hazy, smokey skies, low near 62. Gusty winds expected 5-14 mph.

Sunny and hot, with a high near 100 degrees.
Sunny and hot, with a high near 101 degrees.
Sunny and hot, with a high near 100 degrees.
Sunny, with a high near 95 degrees.
Sunny, hot with a temp near 94 degrees.

Today’s Headlines

Klamath County has 12 cooling centers that include branches of the Klamath County Library and Klamath Basin Senior Center.

Both the record-breaking temperatures and the duration of heat present a clear and present danger, particularly for children, elders, people with disabilities, and people who work outside. Stay cool if you can inside one of these cooling centers in the Basin.


18 yr. old Bonanza Woman Dies from injuries in Auto Accident

On Sunday July 7, 2024 at 3:30pm, the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office and Bonanza Fire, along with Sprague River Ambulance were dispatched to a single vehicle rollover in the area of 20886 East Langell Valley Road.  

A Sheriff deputy and an OSP trooper were in the area assisting with a brush fire and responded to the scene of the reported crash arriving minutes after being dispatched.

Upon arrival they assisted in providing medical care to the driver, later identified as Ellyanna Wierleske (18 years of age). She had been the sole occupant of the car and had suffered traumatic injuries during the crash.

Ellyanna was transported to Sky Lakes Medical Center and was later flown to Saint Charles Medical Center in Bend, OR. It was later learned she succumbed to her injuries.

The investigation into the crash continues with the assistance of a reconstruction by the Oregon State Police. Initial investigation reveals that excessive speed was a contributing factor.

All emergency responders offer condolences to the family for their tragic loss.

In a Facebook post, Bonanza High principal Jordan Osborne said “It is with great sorrow that I reach out to our school community to share some sad news. On Monday July 8, we lost Elly Wierleske due to injuries sustained in an auto accident.

I know this news is difficult for all of you, just as it is for me. As you grieve the passing of Elly, if you need anything I can assist with please reach out to me. We will have the school open, and the district crisis team and counselors will be available for support from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, July 10, Thursday, July 11, and Friday July 12. If students and the community need additional support, we will continue to offer time, space and resources to make that happen.

Bonanza will have challenging weeks ahead, but I know our staff and school community will come together and support each other. Please join me in sending prayers and strength to the family of Elly during this difficult time”.


The fire danger level will increase from high to extreme on Thursday at 12:01 a.m., according to the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership. This means new restrictions are going into effect. 

According to the release, they are changing it to extreme due to dried forest fuels. 

“With the progression of summer conditions and continued drying of forest fuels, local fire danger levels have reached EXTREME,” the release said. “Fires starting in these conditions have the potential for rapid fire spread and significant damage.” 

Additional fire prevention requirements have been placed on industrial forest operations. High speed rotary saws and tracked felling/skidding equipment are required to shut down between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. High speed rotary saws are REQUIRED to have an “operation area observer” visually inspecting the area worked in and additional fire equipment. These are in addition to the normal requirements listed in “A Guide to Legal Requirements for Prevention and Controlling Fires in Operations On and Near Forest Land in Oregon.”

Both Lake and Klamath counties have agreed to prohibit all outdoor debris burning. Forest operations that require a permit to operate power-driven machinery are required to have fire tools, on-site water supply, and watchmen service on privately owned forest land. The release of sky lanterns is prohibited during any time of the year. The discharge of exploding targets and the discharge of tracer ammunition are not permitted during the duration of the fire season.

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using campfires or stove fires are allowed only in specified campgrounds/areas. Specific site information may be obtained by contacting your local Forest Service, BLM, or USFWS offices.
  • Portable cooking stoves utilizing liquefied or bottled fuel sources continue to be allowed on all public lands managed by the Fremont-Winema National Forest, BLM Lakeview District, Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex and Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.


The Shelly Wildfire in Klamath National Forest is expected to be a “long-duration fire” according to fire officials.

Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office has issued evacuation orders in the area and expanded the evacuation warning to 13 surrounding zones.

For evacuation updates, visit protect.genasys.com/search.

The wildfire is still currently 0% contained.

In a news release, Acting Forest Supervisor Chris Christofferson said officials have ordered a complex incident management team due to the fire’s location and terrain in the area.

A total of 925 personnel are fighting the Shelly Fire as of Sunday morning.


Rick Steber will be at the Basin Book Trader, 5507 South Sixth St., from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, to sell and autograph books, including his latest, “A Cowboy Goes to War.”

The cowboy is the late Carroll “Bud” Fairclo, who loved running and working wild horses. He temporarily left the ranching life when he was 30 years old and volunteered for the U.S. Army after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. When he eventually returned, Fairclo was one of World War II’s most decorated heroes.

Steber has written more than 50 books and has more than two million copies in print. Five have been optioned for movies. His book, “Out Killing Indians,” won the Grand Prize of The Next Generation Indie International Book Awards.

He has also has won the Western Writers of America Spur Award, is a poet and a “keen observer of the evolving American West, articulating these changes in prose and poems that are boldly descriptive, invigorating and spectacularly creative.”


Forest Service ShieldFire restrictions remain in effect for the Klamath National Forest and Fremont National Forest areas.

These fire restrictions are designed to help minimize the chances of human-caused wildland fires in our forests. Human-caused fires, which range from escaped campfires, careless smokers, equipment use, vehicle exhaust, catalytic converters, parking on dry grass, or children playing with matches, are preventable. Due to recent exceptional heat and rapid drying of fuels, these restrictions also apply to wilderness areas.

Some of the fire restrictions in effect include:

  • Campfires, stove fires, and barbecue grills using charcoal briquettes are only allowed in open developed recreation sites, such as campgrounds (no permit required).
  • Smoking is limited to inside enclosed vehicles or buildings, within developed recreation sites, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  • Operating an internal combustion engine, except on National Forest System roads or trails, or within developed recreation sites is prohibited.
  • Welding, or operating an acetylene torch or other torch with an open flame is prohibited.

Outside of developed recreation sites, Forest visitors with a valid California Campfire Permit will still be able to use pressurized liquid or gas stoves, grills, or lanterns with shut-off valves, in an area that is cleared at least five feet of any flammable materials. Permits may be obtained at any forest office or online at www.preventwildfireca.org/campfires/.

For a complete list of fire restrictions and a list of developed recreation sites for the Klamath National Forest visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd1187464.pdf.

If visitors choose to have a campfire within a listed developed recreation site, follow these safety tips to prevent starting a wildfire:

  • Clear all flammable materials from the ground for five feet in all directions from the edge of the fire and make sure it is located away from overhanging limbs. Only use developed fire rings.
  • Have a shovel and water nearby.
  • Keep your campfire small and only use dead and downed wood…don’t cut live trees for firewood.
  • Make sure a responsible adult is always in attendance of your campfire. NEVER leave a campfire unattended!
  • Always make sure your campfire is DEAD OUT before leaving it! Drown it with plenty of water, stir well with a shovel, feel to see if it is hot, REPEAT. If it is too hot to touch, then it is too hot to leave.Fire Managers Increase Fire Danger Level and IFPL
    Lakeview, OR
    For more information on restrictions please visit: https://www.scofmp.org/
    Oregon Department of Forestry – 541-883-5681 (ODF-Klamath) or 541-947-3311 (ODF-Lake)

    Fremont-Winema National Forest – 541-947-2151
    BLM Lakeview District – 541-947-2177 (Lakeview) or 541-883-6916 (Klamath)
    Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex – 541-947-2731

Win-R-Insulation, Inc. wants you to know of a special partnership with EnergyTrust of Oregon where you may be able to qualify for a FREE CEILING INSULATION PROGRAM. 

Click here for full details: https://www.basinlife.com/2024/07/08/win-r-insulation-announces-free-ceiling-insulation-program-click-here-for-info/


Klamath County will have road work crews at the several locations this week.

Please use caution when in these areas and watch for flaggers. If you are able to avoid the work zones, please use an alternate route for your safety and the safety of Klamath County employees and our contractors.

July 9th – July 11th – Williamson River Rd, a chip seal crew will be working.

The early morning broom crew will sweep July 9th – 10th – Bliss Rd, Sprague River Dr, Williamson River Rd
July 11th – July 12th – Williamson River Rd.

All week,  on Altamont to Crest – Expect road closure to thru traffic. Use Detour routes.

Highway 97 at Lakeport Blvd……is Closed for ODOT’s contractor to demolish the existing bridge and crane in the new bridge beams.
July 8th – August 15th.

And a BNSF crossing will have delays and detours on Hill Road, Closed for ODOT’s contractor to demolish the existing bridge and crane in the new bridge beams.
July 8th – July 14th.

Meet some BIG trucks at the downtown Klamath County Library Wednesday, July
10th at 10:30AM. 

It’s the Summer Reading special event on Wednesday, July 10th at 10:30 am is a returning fan favorite: the Big Truck Petting Zoo!

Fans of industrial and civil vehicles, rejoice! We’ll have a variety of
specialty trucks (and their drivers, of course) on display in the Klamath
Avenue parking lot for you to pose with and investigate. See how it feels in the driver’s seat of a police squad car, examine the dials and levels of construction equipment, climb aboard a fire truck and much more! The various organizations and agencies who operate and maintain these vehicles have items to give away to visiting fans, as well. (All the fun takes place outside – bring folding chairs or a blanket to guarantee a spot to sit down.) After the show, join us for lunch across the street at the Klamath County courthouse.

Thanks to employees of the City of Klamath Falls Public Works Department, Klamath County Fire District 1, the Klamath Falls Police Department, and the Oregon State Fire Marshal for generously donating their time – we couldn’t host this petting zoo without you!

This event is for all ages, but those under 10 years old need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian, please. For more information, call us at 541-882-8894 or visit


Coming soon to the City of Klamath Falls, from the team behind Retro Room Records and the Ross Ragland Comedy Nights, an economic and nostalgic family offering — the Retro Starlight Cinema.

Harkening back to the days of old, entrepreneurs Jim and Alison Turner are planning to bring a drive-in theater to Klamath County with a tentative opening in spring 2025.

“We need to bring families back together outside under the stars and laughing out loud as the popcorn is being passed back and forth enjoying movies as they should be presented,” Turner said.

Advising that everything is still “very nebulous” and that the Retro Starlight project will develop and become more concrete as more components are finalized, Turner said the operating plans are for the drive-in to show second-run movies (a recently released film shown at discount typically 3 to 4 weeks after its debut) in a double-featured format on a 75×100-foot screen.

Turner said the driver-in theater will be “totally modern but with a complete retro feel,” and that concessions, parking and payment will all be able to be handled by use of an app soon to be available on any smartphone.
As far as the location, Turner said that is the million-dollar question.

“We have a spot scoped out, but until we secure the final funding, I can’t make the announcement,” he said. “Trust me when I say that the spot is divine and perfect for the city and community.”

Turner did say that it’s within the Klamath Falls city limits and that the city planning commission helped find the location.

May be an image of text

Around the State of Oregon

After several days of record-breaking high temperatures across Oregon, Forestry officials are warning that peak fire season is fast approaching.

“As of today, elevations below, say, around 2,000 feet or so are what we call ‘red flag eligible,’ which means that the fuels are there,” said one meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Portland.

As of today, 24 wildfires are burning across Oregon that have prompted evacuation notices affecting more than 600 people, according to the Oregon Department of Emergency Management.

Peak fire season typically starts between late July and mid-August, Bishop said; however, hot temperatures are far from the only indicator. Dry grass, trees and other flora, as well as high winds, are key symptoms of a dangerous fire season. Officials remind everyone vacationing or spending time in the forests, to take extra precaution to keep our forest lands safe.

 No photo description available.


Firefighters are currently battling the  Salt Creek Fire, which is currently 1,500 acres and 40% lined. Some 321 personnel are assigned to the fire, including 12 20-person crews, nine engines, 10 water tenders, seven bulldozers and six tree fallers.

The fire began Sunday and rapidly grew. Smoke from the fire has put the Jackson County air quality to a moderate level.  Some smoke from that fire may find its way into the Klamath Basin this week, dependent on winds.


Oregon is looking to increase the number of public fast-charging electric vehicle stations across the state, through a federal grant program.

The Oregon Department of Transportation received $52 million through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program to use over the next five years. The program aims to create a better network of public DC fast chargers, which can take an electric vehicle from zero to 80% charged in about 20 minutes, throughout frequently used highway corridors.

Brett Howell, ODOT’s transportation electrification coordinator, said the state agency recently opened its first round of funding to 19 pre-qualified EV charging companies.

The companies will focus on creating fast charging stations on Interstate 205 in the Portland area, Interstate 5 south of Eugene and U.S. Highway 97. They are also expected to install, own and maintain the EV charging infrastructure.

Electric vehicle sales in Oregon have been steadily increasing. More than 89,000 electric vehicles are registered, according to the state Department of Transportation. The state offers two electric vehicle rebates, one based on income, that have helped boost sales, so much so that the rebate program has run out of funding two years in a row.

But access to fast chargers for electric vehicles has been limited in certain areas across Oregon. The federally funded program could help create more fast-charging stations, with at least two chargers per station. That would help electric vehicles drivers avoid running out of battery charge before reaching their destinations and could help encourage more people to transition from gas-powered to electric cars.


On Monday the National Weather Service issued an updated excessive heat warning in effect this week.

Dangerously hot conditions with limited overnight relief. Afternoon high temperatures of 95 to 110 degrees in Oregon. Overnight low temperatures in the mid-50s to lower 70s. This will pose a major risk of heat-related illness,” says the weather service. “

Weather service Guidelines for staying safe in high temperatures

  • Stay hydrated:Keep yourself well-hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Seek cool shelter:Stay indoors in an air-conditioned room to keep cool.
  • Avoid sun exposure:Stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors.
  • Child and pet safety:Never forget to safeguard young children and pets by not leaving them unattended in vehicles, especially during scorching weather when car interiors can become life-threateningly hot.
  • Caution outdoors:Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside.
  • Time your activities wisely:When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening.
  • Recognize heat-related issues:Recognize the warning signs and familiarize yourself with symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • Stay cool with clothing: Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing to stay comfortable.
  • For outdoor workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends regular rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas.
  • If someone is overwhelmed by the heat, swiftly relocate them to a cool, shaded location.
  • In emergency situations, dial 911 for immediate assistance.

These NWS heat safety directives are essential for safeguarding your well-being when facing high temperatures. Stay well-informed and take the necessary precautions to shield yourself and others from the potential hazards of extreme heat.


Since the Pacific Northwest’s “timber wars” of the 1990s, the federal Northwest Forest Plan has managed conservation and logging interests in regional forests.

The plan was formulated by a team of scientists from several fields, tailoring their rules to mandates from Congress. The Forest Service announced earlier this year that it was looking to update those rules to meet the growing challenges of wildfire and climate change.

But Oregon environmental advocates say those rules, among many others issued by federal regulatory agencies, could now come under threat. The Supreme Court late last month overturned what’s known as the Chevron decision, a longstanding precedent that lower federal courts should defer to agencies — staffed by experts — on “reasonable” rule changes to enforce legislation.

The ruling effectively means federal regulators will have a harder time defending those rule changes in court. It could also make existing rules easier to challenge.

Industry groups and conservatives say the Chevron decision gave too much power to the executive branch. Liberal groups largely agreed with the doctrine, arguing judges should defer to topic experts on policy.


Oregon’s new Consumer Privacy Protection Act is now in effect. It allows you to get a list of entities that collect your personal data.

You can make corrections to your personal data, deletions or you can opt out of having a business sell your information. You can find out what’s involved and how to use the new Consumer Privacy Protection Act on the Oregon Department of Justice website.


Wildlife Safari held a grand opening for its renovated Children’s Zoo Saturday.

The biggest feature is the contact yard for the goats. Theye acquired eight new Nubian Goats, which is a different species not before available to them.

Wildlife Safari’s mission is to provide the highest quality interaction with wildlife to inspire commitments to wildlife conservation, preservation and education. With the newly renovated Children’s Zoo area, known as the Barnyard, people can get up close.

One family said they’re on a road trip from Canada and when they heard about the grand opening, they knew they couldn’t miss it.

Wildlife Safari’s resident goats, sheep and pig named Sir Henry all got brand new homes, and new species of chickens and goats were brought in. Mohlman says they’ll be adding Barn Owls in the next few weeks too.

Folks were able to meet the goats in the contact yard, which was free to the public for only the grand opening. The celebration also featured some great activities like games, free lemonade and popsicles, beer and wine tastings, and a raffle.


Heightened seismic activity continues under Mount St. Helens; 22 earthquakes this week

Despite the increase, scientists say there’s no signs of an eruption happening soon
Mount St. Helens continues to experience increased earthquake activity, according to a Friday update from the Cascades Volcano Observatory.

Mount St. Helens has experienced slightly heightened seismic activity this year, compared to recent years, with 22 earthquakes in the last week alone, according to the observatory.

There have been 423 recorded earthquakes under the volcano since Feb. 1. The largest earthquake over the past week was a magnitude 1.1. –

The largest earthquake recorded in the area since Feb. 1 was measured at magnitude 2.0.

The average depth for these earthquakes last week were 2.3 miles below the volcano’s crater. This is compared to an average depth of 3.8 miles since Feb. 1.


Oregon just keeps popping up on best-of lists, saluting our state’s food, campgrounds, scenery, and so on. Now, another accolade has come our way, as a popular vacation destination on the north Oregon coast has made the list of “The 28 Most Beautiful Towns in America.”

The list, compiled by Condé Nast Traveler magazine, consists of everything from “coastal cities to southern gems,” as the article says, adding, “these idylls are worth a visit.”

So, which Oregon north coast municipality takes the honors as a “most beautiful” town? Is it Astoria? Seaside? Manzanita? Gearhart?

Not surprisingly, Cannon Beach gets the nod. The town known for its scenic stretch of sandy beach, the imposing Haystack Rock, the annual Sandcastle Contest, super-tasty fish and chips, a top-ranked beach resort, and many more accolades, can now add this one, too.

But then again, any Oregonian who has visited Cannon Beach can testify that the place is gorgeous, and its natural setting is magnificent, as the tourist crowds indicate.


Thanks for reading the the news on BasinLife.com from Wynne Broadcasting.

Ready to Advertise in 2024? Let’s get the word out for Summer! Call BasinLife.com at 541-363-7503. Or email us today at INFO@BasinLife.com with your name, business, and what you’re looking for. We’ll customize a plan fit for your budget.

We offer more local advertising opportunities than any one in the Klamath Basin. We’re ready to help you with the best radio and digital advertising in Southern Oregon.

You can receive Daily Radio Mentions across our 6 stations, Articles, direct link Banner Ads, floating Banner Ads on hundreds of article pages daily, Social Media Posts, geo-fencing and geo-targeting services, and also available are Email Blasts to thousands of local residents. We can also keep you updated with the latest smart digital marketing strategies for 2024 for your business. BasinLife.com is still the best value in the Klamath Basin for advertising, as we celebrate our 8th year promoting businesses!

For information or prices on plans, simply call us today at 541-363-7503 or email us at Info@BasinLife.com.  Let us keep your business top-of -mind!

Must Read

Kriselle Cellars Offers Oregon’s Best Wines and Wood-Fired Pizza

Brian Casey

Klamath Basin News, Thursday, 10/8 – City Announces $188,000 in Covid-19 Relief Funding, and Creates Business and Non-Profit Emergency Assistance Grant program

Brian Casey

Klamath Basin News, Wednesday; Kingsley Field Group Addresses Harmful Chemical Concerns

Brian Casey