News Stories for Wed., Aug. 23, 2017

A strong force of firefighters are working towards increasing the containment of the Nena Springs Fire. Until moisture arrives over the fire, today’s containment number of 75% will remain. Its final footprint is expected to remain 68,135 acres. Firefighters found a hot spot in Skookum Creek Drainage yesterday. Surface fire is smoldering in duff and dead and down logs. A handcrew will direct a light helicopter over hotspots today to provide target drops of water. This mop-up work requires attention to ensure the fire does not smolder outside of contained areas. The 240 firefighters assigned to the fire today are beginning to hit their maximum days’ work and will return home to rest before taking new assignments.  As these resources time out, a smaller force of firefighters will remain at Warm Springs to complete the work left yet to do.  A transfer of command will occur tomorrow to a smaller management organization. The forecast today calls for a chance of thunderstorms that may bring lightning and some rain if it enters into the area.

Wildfires have caused persistent heavy smoke in Warm Springs. Indian Health Service reminds people with ongoing heart and lung conditions, people with asthma, small children, and those ages 65 and over that they are at higher risk of health effects from wildfire smoke. Everyone should avoid heavy smoke, but it’s especially important for people in these sensitive groups. I H S says staying indoors is best during these periods. If you are having shortness of breath, you can call the clinic appointment line at 553-2610. If you have questions after hours, you can call the 24 hour Nurse Advise Hotline at 1-866-470-2015.

Oregon Housing and Community Services has released findings from the 2017 Point-in-Time Homeless Count which took place in January. Every two years, communities across Oregon come together to identify the number of homeless individuals living in sheltered and unsheltered locations, demographic trends surrounding homelessness, and the unmet needs of homeless households. This year, the count found nearly 14,000 people in Oregon are without a permanent place to call home, a 6% increase from 2015. Despite an overall increase, the number of homeless veterans decreased by 9%. Significant attention and resources have been focused towards housing veterans in Oregon.  Jefferson County’s chronically homeless individuals make up 62% of the homeless population, the release says. Baker, Crook, and Lane Counties have the next three largest rates.

A 28-year-old Madras man has been charged and is being sought in the robbery of the Madras U.S. Bank on Monday afternoon. Shortly before 2 p.m. Monday, the man police have now identified as Tyler Wayne Fuller walked into the bank, demanded money and left with an undisclosed amount. Anyone with information as to Fuller’s whereabouts or individuals he may be associating with is encouraged to contact Detective Dan Farrester at the Madras Police Department.