KWSO News for Fri., Aug. 21, 2020

There are 3 active wildfires burning on the Warm Springs Reservation. Interagency Incident Management Northwest Team 7 is managing the P-515 and the Lion’s Head fires. Team 7’s Operations Trainee Jon Larson posted this morning’s operations briefing on their Facebook page.

The 8/21/20 morning fire update this morning shows that the P-515 Fire grew to 3,615 acres and 5% containment and the Lion’s Head Fire to 836 acres with no containment. Lightning has been determined to be the cause of both of these fires. An Incident Command Post has been established at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

The Quartz Butte Fire is in mop-up with no new fire activity to report.

Due to the P-515 Fire, a Level 1 Evacuation (Get Ready) is in effect for residents on Trout Lake Road east of US-26.

A cold front is expected to cross the area with westerly winds gusting up to 30 mph.  While temperatures and humidity are moderating, firefighters are expecting gusting winds to cause problematic fire behavior.

Road Closures:

  • Trout Lake Road at pavement end;
  • Road B140 at Potter’s Pond;
  • Road B210 and Road P-500.

The Warm Springs Covid-19 report for Thursday, August 20, 2020 includes all information available through August 19, 2020. There were 4 additional cases of Covid-19 reported on Wednesday.

Today is the last day of the 2 week kindergarten Acceleration program.  It has provided the new kindergarten students at the Warm Springs K-8 Academy a chance to get used to the school routine, get to know their teachers and spend a little time at the “big school.”   The K-8 have been following the Oregon Department of Education Summer School guidelines to create a safe place for teachers and students.   Teaching Staff will have voluntary training next week and then a week of training starting August 31st.  On September 8th there will be a virtual student orientation for distance learning and then a virtual family orientation.

Today is the deadline for selection of a learning plan for students.  If you have not yet submitted an enrollment for, please do so as soon as possible.  You can visit the district website at In a letter to families yesterday, superintendent Ken Parshall shared that they continue to monitor county metrics to plan for in-person learning as soon as it is allowed. Before students can return to school, even in limited small groups, there must be a substantial drop in covid-19 community spread. All families are encouraged to follow safe health and hygiene practices to help slow the spread of Covid-19 so students can return to on site school. 509-J will do Comprehensive Distance Learning for at least the first 6 weeks of the school year.

Oregon’s Emergency Checks program for people impacted financially by COVID-19 has drawn thousands of people to apply for the one-time, $500 payments set aside the by the state to help consumers who’ve missed out on other relief programs. Unfortunately, not everyone who has applied meets the state’s eligibility criteria. To find out if you are eligible before applying, visit the state’s website, or call 2-1-1, where a live operator can provide information.  Consumers who are eligible for the $500 payments, should then visit the websites of the participating financial institutions nearest to them, fill out the application ahead of time, and learn whether they need an appointment or can do a walk-in.

With the Census ending a month early, the pressure is on to get an accurate count of who lives in our state. Why does the Census matter? It determines how $1.2 trillion in federal money is divided among the states. As a result of the 2020 Census, Oregon could receive $19 billion of that to fund essential things like critical medical services, public schools, after-school care, SNAP food benefits, forestry grants, roads, bridges, and more for the next 10 years. With just over one month left until the Census count is completed, only around 66% of Oregonians have completed the Census. The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting work like going door-to-door that Enumerators usually do to connect with people who haven’t completed the Census. The We Count Oregon campaign is working to help get everyone counted by the September 30 deadline, especially those in underrepresented communities. Do your Census online today at

Madras High School Athletic Director Evan Brown sent a letter to families regarding interscholastic athletics this coming school year.  The OSAA has implemented some changes for Season One. Sport specific optional workouts will continue, however, after August 28th there are some requirements. After August 28th, all coaches must be certified to participate in workouts, all athletes must have a current physical on file and all athletes must be registered for the sport they are participating in. Other things to remember are that for outside activities, if 6 feet social distance is not guaranteed ALL must wear a mask. If 6 ft social distance is guaranteed, masks are optional for participants. All participants must wear a mask for indoor activities. All coaches, whether inside or outside, must wear a mask at all times. Brown says that compliance and precautions will help meet the goal of participation in Seasons 2 (winter sports), 3 (fall sports), and 4 (spring sports.)  Again, student athletes will need to make sure their athletic registrations are submitted for each sport they plan to participate in and they have a current physical on file before they join any season 1 practice activities.  All coaches must complete their OSAA certification requirements before coaching in Season 1.