KWSO News for Fri., Aug. 28, 2020

There were 3 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Warm Springs as of the end of the day Wednesday. The Covid-19 Community Update report Thursday includes all information available through Wednesday, August 26. There are currently 34 persons with active COVID-19 receiving daily monitoring by Tribal and IHS staff and 65 close contacts receiving daily monitoring according to yesterday’s report.

Jefferson County School District 509-J Superintendent Ken Parshall sent a letter to families on Thursday as the district prepares for the start of the school year. He stated that teachers and administrators have been engaging in professional learning and planning to ensure they are prepared for students. The district will begin the year in a distance learning model or virtual teaching/learning. Teachers will provide direct instruction on a daily basis for students in the Comprehensive Distance Learning model. Teachers will send a schedule of the instructional day and provide information about supports available and instruction on learning goals each week. The first week of orientations on the technology, introductions with teachers and classroom peers, and community/culture building in schools and classrooms will begin in Tuesday, September 8th for all students. Daily instruction on grade level and secondary course learning targets and learning standards will begin on Monday, September 14th. You should contact your school office staff if you have questions as we approach the start of orientations and instruction.

Thursday’s Fire Update on Warm Springs reservation fires showed good progress on both. The P-515 Fire on the Warm Springs Reservation is 65 percent contained. The level one evacuation notice for Trout Lake Road has been lifted. Crews continue to mop up and improve control lines. The Lionshead Fire is 15 percent contained and firefighters built direct and indirect lines around a spot fire on the southeast portion yesterday while dozers built lines around spot fires on the southwest perimeter. The fire was working its way up Mill Creek Drainage toward Camp Creek Butte. Aircraft dropped retardant at Lionshead Peak as a precaution. Both fires have burned over 4000 acres.

The White River Fire has grown to 4500 acres and remains just 10 percent contained. The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office initiated several evacuation notices on Thursday. A Level 3, Go Now order was issued for the area east from Bear Springs Ranger Station along Highway 216 through Pine Grove to the intersection of Endersby Road and 216 and all of of Endersby Rd, Linns Mill Rd and Kelly Springs Rd. Several other Level 2 and Level 1 evacuations were called for.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued an Air Quality Advisory for Jefferson, Deschutes, Crook, and Wasco Counties including the Warm Springs Reservation…in effect until Saturday. A Smoke Air Quality Advisory has been issued. Wildfires burning in the region combined with forecasted conditions will cause air quality to reach unhealthy levels. Pollutants in smoke can cause burning eyes…runny nose…aggravate heart, lung, and respiratory diseases…and aggravate other serious health problems. Limit outdoor activities and keep children indoors if it is smoky.

Warm Springs Tribal Police executed a tribal search warrant at a Warm Springs residence on Thursday. The search was related to allegations of the illegal taking of livestock belonging to another tribal member and transporting the livestock across state lines to complete a sale. This is a federal felony according to the PRESS RELEASE issued by Warm Springs Chief of Police Bill Elliott. Acting on a citizen complaint alleging the illegal taking of their livestock, the Warm Springs police have been working with law enforcement personnel from the Warm Springs Bureau of Natural Resources, and continue to investigate the full scope of the illegal taking of livestock from Warm Springs. A Warm Springs man, Jason Smith, was arrested on tribal charges for theft, and has been transported to NORCOR in The Dalles, with an ongoing investigation relating to possible violation(s) of federal law.