Oregon News

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Firefighter from Independence dies in Idaho while battling Moose Fire

An Oregon firefighter died September 20, while fighting the Moose Fire near Salmon, Idaho. Officials say 48-year-old Gerardo Rincon of Independence, Oregon suffered a medical emergency. Rincon was working for North Reforestation Inc. as a crew boss of a Type 2 crew. Rincon had been a wildland firefighter since 1994, and over his 28-year career, he was a Type 2 firefighter, engine captain, and crew boss. The Salmon-Challis National Forest posted on their Facebook page a statement from Forest Supervisor Charles Mack. Firefighters lined up to honor Rincon as his casket was taken to an awaiting aircraft to be flown back to Oregon. Rincon was returned to Independence on Sunday, September 25. A funeral mass will take place on September 29.
KATU-TV ABC 2 Portland

Fire extinguished at Jacksonville Mexican food restaurant

A morning fire has fire crews busy in Jacksonville. A 7:58am dispatch involved a Jacksonville structure fire along California Street. It send a Jacksonville fire crew and a Medford Fire and Rescue crew to Las Palmas Mexican food restaurant at 4th Street and California Street. California Street, which becomes Highway 238, was blocked this morning as firefighters responded to the fire.
KDRV-TV ABC 12 Medford

Fire activity slows dramatically in Wallowa County

Activity on the Double Creek and Eagle Cap Wilderness fires has slowed dramatically, but the blazes won’t be out “until the snow flies,” as one fire official said earlier this month. Monday, Sept. 26, was predicted to be hot and dry, with conditions similar to mid-August as opposed to late September, according to the daily press release on the fires. However, the press release said, high fuel moisture and lack of wind will prevent any large fire growth. Instead, any active fire will be what firefighters call “skunking around” — low-intensity fire, which acts in ways similar to a prescribed burn, cleaning up unburned pockets of fuel resulting in a more fire-resistant landscape and a healthier forest, fire officials said.
The Observer - Metered Site

16-year-old boy accused of starting Salem house fire

Salem police arrested a 16-year-old boy who is accused of starting a fire at a residence on Friday. The Salem Fire Department says crews began responding to the house fire near Church Street SE just after 12:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon. It was eventually upgraded to a second alarm and the Salem Police Department arrived at the scene to assist. Officials say the flames started on the porch before quickly spreading and engulfing a large portion of the home. After hearing from witnesses, police learned that a teenage boy allegedly set a lit sparkler onto a Halloween decoration at the house, which is believed to have started the fire. The boy was arrested and lodged at Marion County Juvenile Detention Center. He’s facing charges of first-degree arson, first-degree criminal mischief and reckless endangering. His identity has not been released due to being a minor.
KOIN-TV NBC 6 Portland

Follow Up: Federal funds coming to help local fire departments address staffing and resource needs

The City of Portland has received a grant to hire new firefighters, and we now know that Scappoose and the City of Albany will benefit as well. On Monday, Oregon senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced a 3.8 million dollar grant. Portland is getting a little more than two million of the federal funds and plans to hire six firefighters to fully staff station 23. Albany is getting 1.3 million, due in part to increased need from its growing population. Scappoose is getting nearly 400 thousand dollars.
KATU-TV ABC 2 Portland

Jackson County wildfire smoke survey out now

Jackson County is asking for your input on wildfire smoke in the community. It’s a collaboration between the county, city of Medford, and the Department of Environmental Quality. The survey asks questions about how wildfire smoke has impacted you directly. Your response will help create the county’s first-ever Smoke Management Community Response Plan. The plan will guide county and city officials, and fire protection agencies in mitigating the impacts of smoke events caused by prescribed fire and wildfire smoke in our community. The County Emergency Manager, Holly Powers says the plan has been a bucket list item for the county. “The completion of the Jackson County Community Response Plan will create a process by which hopefully the county will be able to issue prescribed burning notifications, also identify some mitigation activities for helping lessen the impact of a prescribed fire or wildfire smoke,” said Powers.
KOBI-TV NBC 5 Medford

Monday, September 26, 2022

Car fire spreads to Beaverton apartment, 9 people displaced

A car fire spread to and damaged a Beaverton apartment building on Sunday afternoon, according to Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue. Just after 3:30 p.m., firefighters responded to multiple calls about a vehicle fire in a carport at the 11000 block of Southwest Allen Boulevard. When firefighters arrived, they found the fire had spread to the carport, two additional vehicles and onto the side of the nearby apartment building. A second alarm was called and additional firefighters and resources were sent to the scene. All occupants were evacuated without injury. Once firefighters extinguished the blaze, they determined that four living units had been damaged. The Red Cross responded to help nine displaced residents find emergency housing.
KPTV-TV FOX 12 Portland

Grants to help rural firefighters: Elsie-Vinemaple and Hamlet get boosts

Two rural fire departments on the North Coast have been awarded grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to replace old equipment. The Elsie-Vinemaple fire department will receive a $619,047 grant to purchase a new pumper tender. “This will replace a 1977 tender and a 1988 engine,” Cannon Beach Fire Chief Marc Reckmann, who helped write and manage the grants, said in an email. Mike Wammack, fire chief of Elsie-Vinemaple, said the new apparatus will help his fellow departments through their mutual aid agreements. "This truck's not only helping us out, it's going to help Hamlet, it's available to Seaside, Cannon Beach — anything within our county," he said. Reckmann said, "These grants are especially important to districts like Elsie that have an annual budget of about $75,000." Hamlet Volunteer Fire Department will receive $99,619.
The Daily Astorian - Metered Site

Firefighters say fire ignited by oily rags destroyed garage in Bend

A fire ignited by improperly stored rags destroyed a garage and lightly damaged a house in Bend on Sunday, according to the Bend Fire & Rescue. Just after 3 a.m., firefighters responded to reports of a structure fire on Deschutes Market Road. A log-built garage, attached to the log house by a covered walkway, was completely engulfed in flames when they arrived. Inside the home, the two occupants were still asleep, as the smoke alarms hadn’t yet been triggered by the external fire. Firefighters evacuated the residents and were able to protect the house from more than some external charring and water damage, but the garage was a total loss. Inside the garage were two vehicles and several custom bicycles. Investigators determined that the fire began in a plastic trash can inside the garage.
KPTV-TV FOX 12 Portland

Firefighters hawkish about Rum Creek Fire

Rum Creek Fire's incident command says an unexpected rescue happened at the Incident Command Post (ICP) this week. It says as fire suppression operations slow, its remaining crews are vigilant about their duty, such as Operations Section Chief Jesse Blair. It says yesterday while Blair was leaving the ICP, he noticed a white bird in a tree, and as he drove closer he noticed it seemed to have trouble flying, becoming grounded. Incident Command (IC) says when Blair got out of his vehicle the white bird ran away rather than trying to fly, and when close enough to clearly see the bird, Blair identified it as an albino Red Tailed Hawk that was wet and unable to fly.
KDRV-TV ABC 12 Medford

Clackamas County parents welcome baby in car, thank fire department for help

Forest Shuman came into the world at 8 pounds, 7 ounces, but not in a hospital as his mom Tristan and dad Dustin had hoped. “It was only 30 minutes to the hospital, but it took him 10,” Tristan Shuman said. He decided to arrive in their car. “Kinda rushed and got through the curves then I felt this immense pressure and told him I was like ‘I think he’s here, pretty sure he’s coming,’” she said. “He reached over and was like ‘Yep he’s here.’ I caught him, threw him up on my chest and he only made the littlest cry.” They weren’t far from Clackamas County’s Redland Fire Station. “I drive by here all the time, and there’s normally a cop here so I was hoping he’d see me, or these guys would be here and luckily we whipped in here and they were all here to help,” Dustin Shuman said.
KPTV-TV FOX 12 Portland

At least 40 people injured or ill from Oregon’s Cedar Creek Fire, officials say

At least 40 people have reported injuries or illnesses related to Oregon’s Cedar Creek fire, officials say. The fire has burned for almost two months. All of the injuries so far appear to be non life-threatening, Don Ferguson, a Cedar Creek Fire public information officer, told CNN in an email. The blaze, sparked by lightning on August 1, has burned through 114,104 acres and is 20% contained. “There have been no structures burned and no fatalities,” Ferguson said. The fire “has grown by only a relatively small percentage” in the last week, according to Ferguson. “The fire received a little rain, enough to temporarily slow growth and allow work to progress on the indirect containment strategy.” Officials are beginning to pull back resources on the firefighting process and reopen areas closed to the public, according to Ferguson.
KDRV-TV ABC 12 Medford

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