News Stories for Fri., Aug. 4, 2017

Aggressive work by several hundred firefighters on the Cinder Butte Fire burning south of Hwy. 20 between Bend and Burns limited growth on the fire yesterday. Officials are holding the acreage at 56,000 for now, pending new mapping this morning.

The Whitewater Fire burning in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness grew to over 4500 acres due to high temperatures and low relative humidity.  Fire fighters say it expanded primarily on the north and south flanks.

The smoke is thick out there in Warm Springs today, as is the case throughout much of the state. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory Thursday for Central and Eastern Oregon due to wildfire smoke. The National Weather Service said the air quality alert for Central Oregon lasts through noon Saturday, due to smoke not only from Oregon wildfires but also ones in eastern Washington, British Columbia and Montana, as north to northeast winds push smoke around the area. Air quality will vary between good and unhealthy, depending on wind direction and time of day. Pollutants in smoke can cause burning eyes, runny nose and aggravate heart and lung diseases and other serious health problems. Children, the elderly and individuals with respiratory illnesses are most at risk of serious health effects. If you experience respiratory distress, you should speak with your doctor and follow their advice. Limit outdoor activities and keep children indoors if it is smoky.  In addition to the smoke, it is going to stay very hot for a while. Remember to stay hydrated.  Drink between 2-4 cups of water per hour if working outdoors.  And, Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Know symptoms of Heat Exhaustion – heavy sweating, weakness, paleness and clamminess, fainting and vomiting – if these are present, move to a cooler place and rest, and drink cool water. If symptoms do not improve within an hour, seek medical attention. And, the symptoms of a Heat Stroke are a high body temperature, hot and dry skin, and rapid pulse. Get medical attention immediately if you suspect heat stroke.

A burn ban has gone into effect on the Warm Springs Reservation, due to the “extreme fire danger” conditions.  Our region is in a fire weather watch situation that includes low relative humidity and gusty winds which increase fire danger. The dry fuel conditions and potential lack of water for fire suppression, these precautions are necessary. A burn ban means: all outside agricultural and residential burning is NOT allowed – including weed burning, burn barrels, and burn bins; outdoor camp fires are not allowed, with the exception of propane or charcoal barbecues or camp cooking stoves; ceremonial and traditional fires are exempt from this burn ban.