The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com
Friday, July 23, 2021
Oregon Beach Weather
Today– Sunny, with a high near 69. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming north northwest 16 to 21 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 33 mph.
Saturday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 69. Breezy, with a north northwest wind 7 to 12 mph increasing to 16 to 21 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 33 mph.
Sunday– Sunny, with a high near 67. Breezy, with a north wind 7 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.
Monday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 68.
Tuesday– Partly sunny, with a high near 67.
Chief of Coquille Indian Tribe Dies
The Chief of the Coquille Indian Tribe, Donald Boyd Ivy, has died after a seven-month battle with cancer, the tribe announced Thursday.
Ivy died Monday. He was 70 years old. Ivy has served as chief since 2014. He was the voice for his tribe on cultural and spiritual matters and served on the seven-member Tribal Council. He was also a scholar of tribal heritage.
“Chief Ivy was a consistent source of wisdom and kindness for the Coquille people. His voice was an invaluable asset to those of us who were privileged to serve with him in tribal leadership, and we will miss him terribly,” said Tribal Chair Brenda Meade. “We offer our prayers for his family, along with our enduring gratitude for his many contributions to the tribe’s wellbeing.”
In a statement, Gov. Kate Brown said she counted Ivy as a friend and adviser. He served on the state’s Racial Justice Council, where he worked to dismantle “the structures of racism that have created disparities in our society.”
“A leader and a scholar, he dedicated his life to righting those wrongs, as he worked to preserve tribal traditions and to build a more just future for the Coquille people,” Brown said. “His contributions to the work of the Oregon Tribal Cultural Items Task Force helped our state to make groundbreaking progress in the preservation of tribal items in the possession of state agencies and other public institutions.”
Ivy received many awards, including the Antone Minthorn Economic & Community Development Award, and the Oregon Heritage Commission’s Heritage Excellence Award. In May, Southwestern Oregon Community College honored him as its 2021 Distinguished Alumnus.
A memorial service will be held in The Mill Casino-Hotel’s Salmon Room at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25.
The tribe will hold a special election to choose Ivy’s successor.
Seaside Promenade Centennial Parade & Ceremony Set for August 7th
The City of Seaside will host a parade and ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 7, to commemorate the centennial of the Seaside Promenade, which was officially christened on this day in 1921 when hundreds of officials from across the state joined then-Governor Olcott in Seaside to watch Martha Hagmeier, age 8, break a bottle of sea water on the concrete.
The Prom Centennial Parade will begin at 10 a.m. near city hall (989 Broadway), which was the historic location of Seaside’s train station, and then proceed west down Broadway to the Turnaround. The Royal Rosarians, Portland’s official ambassadors of goodwill, were present at the 1921 dedication and will return to Seaside to join the parade. Additionally, the group’s prime minister will plant a rose at the corner of Broadway and Holladay in the city’s Historic Gilbert District to commemorate the day’s activities at 11:30 am.
At 1 p.m., all visitors and residents are invited to an official ceremony at the Turnaround, which will include remarks from mayors past and present, community representatives, and officials in attendance. State Sen. Betsy Johnson will give the keynote speech. A time capsule will be buried during the ceremony and another bottle of seawater will be broken to commemorate the milestone.
The public is invited to gather on the beach facing the Turnaround, which will serve as a stage for the ceremony. Those wishing to sit are advised to bring chairs or beach blankets.
“As then-Mayor Hurd made clear in 1921, the Prom is not for Seaside alone but was quite literally built through local cooperation for the enjoyment of everyone,” said Joshua Heineman, director of tourism marketing for the City of Seaside. “Please join us as we celebrate the past and look forward to another hundred years of timeless memories being made on the playground that is the Seaside Prom.”
Seaside’s 1.5-mile oceanfront Promenade and its famous automobile Turnaround at the beach are among Oregon’s most famous landmarks.
Visitors to Seaside have been experiencing the Prom Centennial all year long with a 32-page limited-edition Prom Centennial booklet and commemorative holographic stickers that are available for free at the City of Seaside Visitors Bureau and Travel Oregon Welcome Center (7 N. Roosevelt). The book contains history of the Prom, activities and attractions, historic homes walking tour, and a seasonal passport program and sweepstakes.
AROUND the STATE of OREGON
The nation’s largest wildfire continues to rage. Crews were scaling back some night operations as hard work and weaker winds helped reduce the spread of flames even as wildfires continued to threaten homes in neighboring California. Latest estimates have it at 400,389 acres.
The Bootleg Fire, which has destroyed an area half the size of Rhode Island, was 40% surrounded after burning some 70 homes, mainly cabins, fire officials said. At least 2,000 homes were ordered evacuated at some point during the fire and an additional 5,000 were threatened.
The upper eastern edge of the blaze continued to move toward Summer Lake, jumping fire lines on Thursday and prompting a local evacuation order for some portions of Lake County to be raised to “go now!,” fire officials said.
Winds up to 10 miles per hour (16 kilometers per hour) could drive the flames through timber but not at the pace seen last week, when the wind-driven blaze grew exponentially, fire information officer Angela Goldman said.
The fire, which was sparked by lightning, had been expanding by up to 4 miles (6 kilometers) a day, pushed by strong winds and critically dry weather.
There was good news on the lower portion of the 624-square-mile (1,616-square-kilometer) blaze. Crews had locked in containment lines and on the lower southeastern side, crews were able to gain a substantial foothold, allowing them to cut back to nighttime patrols from what had been a “24-7 run-and-gun” fight, fire information officer Sarah Gracey said.
That side of the blaze also had burned into an area blackened by a previous fire, creating gaps in the fuel and reducing the spread of flames through grass, shrub and timber, Gracey said.
Oregon Wing Civil Air Patrol Assists in Bootleg Fire Response
Oregon Wing Civil Air Patrol (ORWG) is assisting the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and the Oregon Department of Forestry in the Bootleg Fire Response near Bly.
ORWG members are volunteering as radio operators, where they are providing communication services for two eight-hour shifts per day. They are handling status reports, requests for resources, release of resources and medical emergency radio equipment, alongside firefighting personnel.
There are currently four ORWG incident radio operators working with professional firefighting and communications personnel from state agencies. The ORWG members work in teams of two in eight-hour shifts to provide assistance at the fire forward operating base outside of Bly, Oregon.
“It’s an austere location; CAP members are sleeping in a field, in tents,” David Rudawitz, ORWG incident commander said. “But we’re helping fill an understaffed area that’s needed.”
ORWG members will be on-scene into August as firefighting crews battle the Bootleg Fire in Southern Oregon. The Bootleg Fire, located in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, has burned over 350,000 acres and is 38% contained. ORWG also assisted in the Oregon wildfire fighting efforts in September and October 2020.
About Civil Air Patrol
Established in 1941, Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine Cessna aircraft and more than 2,000 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and performs about 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Often using innovative cellphone forensics and radar analysis software, CAP was credited by the AFRCC with saving 130 lives in fiscal 2020.
CAP’s 54,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. As a nonprofit organization, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace education using national academic standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.
Members also serve as mentors to over 20,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. One of the premier public service organizations in America, CAP benefits the nation with an estimated economic impact of $209 million annually.
The fire is currently at 19,352 acres with 55% containment. North of Hwy 138, firefighters will continue to hold control lines and mop up as needed.
South of Hwy 138, crews along the west flank will be patrolling lines while mopping up where feasible. Along the south and east flanks, firefighters will be continue to protect control lines and secure Horseshoe Bend campground. Within the Calf Creek area, firefighters will be focusing on managing fire control lines to reduce the chance of fire spread. Crews will also be scouting the southern flank for any potential areas to build alternate fire lines to tie into existing line in Calf Creek.
Air support today includes two Heavy Type 1 helicopters with buckets and one Heavy Type 1 helicopter with a tank along with one light Type 3 helicopter. Air assets provide ground resources with water to limit the spread of the fire and to help establish and hold containment lines.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office announced additional reductions to the evacuation levels previously put into place as a result of the Jack Fire burning east of Glide. Effective, Monday, July 19, 2021, at 5:00 pm, the following changes have been made to the Jack Fire evacuation levels:
The Dry Creek Community and surrounding areas have been reduced from a Level 2 “Be Set” to a Level 1 “Be Ready”
The Steamboat Inn and the residential area on Brindle Bug Road and Steelhead Caddis are no longer under an official notice. The only evacuation levels currently in place related to the Jack Fire are Level 1 “Be Ready”.
A current evacuation map can be found at www.dcso.com/evacuations The Sheriff’s Office will continue to work with county commissioners, fire managers and agency partners to ensure public safety.
Elbow Creek Fire:
The Elbow Creek fire, now at 19,993 acres, is moving up the ranks in priority across the region and orders for crews and other resources are being filled. Twelve new crews arrived yesterday evening and the fire now has resources from Washington, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, California, Oregon, and Idaho.
As additional personnel arrive more objectives are being met, giving firefighters the ability to plan ahead and make changes to suppression techniques. The most active area of the fire remains in the Elbow Creek Drainage near the confluence of the Grande Ronde River. This particular area is central to the intersection of several canyons that produce erratic winds from all directions.
Steep slopes along Indian Ridge and Grossman Creek are challenging as firefighters continue to establish hand and dozer lines. Water dispensing helicopters and a retardant-dropping airtanker are being used to aid firefighters in slowing the fire in the Elbow Creek and Sickfoot Creek drainages.
A mobile retardant base is now in place at the Bar B Ranch on the southeast side of the fire for faster aircraft turnaround. Looking ahead, the fire team is planning on opening up existing road systems and ridgetops with bulldozers and hand crews. This contingency planning will create backup containment lines should they be needed in the future.
With little to no activity in the northeast and eastern side of the fire, crews continue to mop up and widen containment lines. Firefighters were successful in yesterday’s burnout operation within Sickfoot Creek and today’s goal is to develop fire line around the area perimeter.
Firefighters are having success on the south end of the fire, in the Deep Creek drainage, securing lines and transitioning to mop-up. Weather conditions call for lower humidity with potential for unpredictable and erratic westerly winds. These conditions can cause swirling winds within the deep canyons leading to additional fire activity.
Work on the Bruler Fire continued yesterday to keep the fire perimeter as small as possible. Firefighters continued to use hose and sprinklers to increase containment on the fire. The increase in acreage is due to continued backing of the fire on the west flank towards indirect line and more accurate mapping from an IR flight last night. The fire remains within the previously established direct and indirect lines. Containment is listed at 12%.
Confidence builds daily as we continue to get tighter control lines and begin to mop up in high complexity topography and old growth trees. Dedicated mop up and continued tightening of line while establishing key alternate lines for the foreseeable future is critical. Due to the rugged terrain, deep duff layer and large old trees, this fire will be on the landscape until we receive significant rain. Taking the energy out of the fire area is critical to our success and remains our highest priority.
Firefighters use one of two main strategies to attack ground fires – indirect and direct. Indirect line is created at a safe distance away from the advancing fire. Firefighters on the Bruler Fire initially used the indirect line strategy to engage the fire. Direct line is created at the edge of the advancing fire. Today, firefighters are moving to use the direct line strategy around the perimeter of the fire as hazards are mitigated. Direct line increases the probability of keeping the Bruler Fire within its current footprint. “We are taking advantage of the moderated weather conditions to get as close to direct on the fire line as possible,” said Incident Commander Brian Gales.
A large closure area is necessary to ensure that firefighters can focus on managing the fire and not needing to evacuate visitors should conditions on the fire change rapidly. We appreciate the support of the public in allowing us to stay focused on firefighting and we will reduce the closure area as soon as possible. Safety issues on the fire include large rocks and trees falling onto roadways without warning due to the fire.
FOR MORE INFO ON FIRES in The AREA: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/
Drought Conditions Continue to Worsen in Oregon
Over 56% of Oregon faces Extreme Drought conditions – with nearly 17% of the state experiencing Exceptional Drought, the worst category.
All told, over 90% of the state qualifies as Severe Drought or worse.
That’s according to new metrics released each Thursday by the Drought Monitor.
The percentage of the state suffering Exceptional Drought has climbed steadily from 0% on January 1 to 2% in April. Just in the last week, that percentage jumped from 11.62% to 17.12%.
According to the State of Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown has declared a drought in 19 counties, including Douglas. Requests from both Coos and Lane counties to declare a drought are pending.
Oregon reports 539 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 1 new death
There is one new COVID-19 related death in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,834.
Oregon Health Authority reported 539 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 214,263.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (1), Benton (7), Clackamas (44), Columbia (8), Coos (6), Crook (3), Curry (3), Deschutes (28), Douglas (19), Grant (1), Hood River (1), Jackson (63), Jefferson (6), Josephine (27), Klamath (3), Lane (50), Lincoln (2), Linn (24), Malheur (4), Marion (36), Morrow (3), Multnomah (54), Polk (8), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (70), Union (3), Wallowa (5), Wasco (4), Washington (43) and Yamhill (12).
COVID-19 Surging Again In Oregon
State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger says since Oregon reopened on June 30th, new daily cases have nearly doubled and the percentage of positive cases has jumped by 70 percent.
He says it’s due to unvaccinated people and the highly contagious Delta Variant, which is now the dominant strain across the state. He says the good news is, vaccines are working.
More than 90 percent of new cases in June were people not fully vaccinated.
OHA COVID-19 Press Conference, July 22, 2021
Oregon Representative Gary Leif Dies
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners announced the unexpected death Thursday of Oregon State Rep. Gary Leif, R-Roseburg.
Leif’s cause of death wasn’t immediately known.
The commissioners and their families extended their condolences to Leif’s family, friends and colleagues for his service to the county and House District 2, which he has represented since 2018. The district comprises sections of Douglas, Jackson and Josephine counties.
Commissioner Tom Kress said in the news release that Leif had supported him in his capacity as a county commissioner and also served as a fellow United Community Action Network, or UCAN, board member.
“He truly loved Douglas County and dedicated his life to helping and serving others. This is a tremendous loss for our County,” Kress wrote.
Leif previously served a year and four months as a Douglas County commissioner, winning election in 2016 before being appointed to the House seat previously held by Dallas Heard, who was appointed to the Senate in early 2018.
“Gary showed up for his first day as County Commissioner ready to hit the ground running,” said Commissioner Chris Boice. “His enthusiasm about serving this county was infectious, and he worked hard during his time as a County Commissioner.”
House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, wrote on Twitter Thursday morning that Leif was a “champion for his district and a lovely man.”
“My prayers are with his family and community,” Kotek wrote.
Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer, also expressed his grief after learning about Leif’s death. Post described Leif as one of the “sweetest and kindest” people he’s ever known. “We will miss him greatly and pray for his family,” Post said on Twitter.
Commissioners from Douglas, Jackson and Josephine counties will be responsible for tapping Leif’s replacement from a list of nominees to be compiled by the Oregon Republican Party.