Warm Springs fire fighters responded to two suspicious fires. Yesterday evening, a fire that started near Tenino Road, behind the West Hills neighborhood burned a few acres Fire Management reported. Another small fire in the early morning hours was reported near the Utilities buildings. If anyone witnesses any suspicious activity, remember, the Warm Springs Police Department does have has an Anonymous Crime Tip Line where you can report information without identifying yourself. It is 541-553-2202.
The US 97 Madras – Terrebonne road construction project continues this week with installing striping and other safety features during the nights. There will be one-way traffic with flaggers and pilot cars between 7 pm and 7 am, with traffic delays of up to 20 minutes. There will be guardrail and shoulder work during the day, and passing lanes may be closed.
Construction is also happening on US 97 near Willowdale this week. Crews will be placing beams for the replacement of Trout Creek Bridge requiring consecutive 20 minute delays. The majority of delays are anticipated for Wednesday. After Labor Day, travelers can expect to see temporary signals at both Spanish Hollow & Trout Creek bridges which will reduce traffic down to one lane. The project will replace the existing US 97 Spanish Hollow Creek Bridge, located a half-mile south of Biggs Junction, and the Trout Creek Bridge, 17 miles north of Madras, to new seismically resilient bridges. Additional work will be done to seismically retrofit six other bridges over Spanish Hollow Creek near Biggs junction. Crews will also extend the southbound acceleration lane of Highway 97 from the US 30/US 97 intersection at the Biggs Jct. The $15 million dollar project is essential to assist with traffic mobility in the case of a major seismic event. It’s scheduled to be complete by next fall.
Central Oregon skies were filled with smoke yesterday, which lead many people to inquire whether there were fires in the area. According to Central Oregon Fire Info, there are no large fires in Central Oregon right now. The smoke is most likely blowing in from wildfires around Crater Lake, from southwest Oregon and from northern California. The afternoon is typically when fires become most active as temperatures increase, humidity drops, and winds pick up. Many factors influence a person’s sensitivity to smoke, including severity and duration of smoke exposure and a person’s health. There are things you can do to minimize the impacts of smoke on you and your family like reducing time spent outdoors when smoke is present, using an air purifier with a HEPA filter, and setting air conditioners to recirculate at home or in the car. But, if you have heart or lung disease or respiratory illnesses such as asthma, you should consult with your health care provider and follow any advice about prevention and treatment of symptoms. And, there is a new website with info about wildfires in our region – www.centraloregonfire.org. \
The Warm Springs Hotshots were dispatched to the Timber Crater 6 Fire burning in Crater Lake National Park, twenty miles southwest Chemult. The lightening caused fire is just over two thousand acres and burning in timber, mostly lodgepole pine, with a large amount of dead and down trees. It is only 15 percent contained.