KWSO News for Mon., Aug. 17, 2020

Warm Springs Fire Management reports two lightening caused fires on the reservation this morning. One is near North Butte in the P-515 area. The other is near Lion’s Head. Local and outside resources are working on the fires today with additional resources coming in as needed. They will continue to monitor for possible sleeper fires that could occur due to lightning strikes over the weekend.

Firefighters with the Prineville BLM, Deschutes National Forest, Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland, and the Oregon Department of Forestry were busy locating about 30 new wildfires caused by the thunderstorms that passed through Central Oregon over the weekend. Most of those new fires have been held to about 1/10th acre, and crews will remain vigilant for any holdover fires over the next several days.

The Warm Springs Covid-19 Response team is now reporting their data at 10am weekday mornings.  The data captures all information recorded up through the end of the prior day. The Friday August 14, 2020 report included all information available through August 13, 2020. There was 1 additional case of Covid-19 reported on Thursday. 265 is the total number of positive cases of Covid-19 reported, 56 active cases and 51 of close contacts being monitored by Public Health.

Warm Springs Tribal Council voted to keep Tribal offices closed to the public another week, so they remain closed until further notice. Essential Services are operating.  Employees on Administrative Leave are asked to stay home and avoid any potential risks of coming in contact with Covid-19.

On Friday, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a permit to the three Northwest states, including Oregon, and six regional tribes that were co-applicants to lethally remove sea lions in some areas of the Columbia River basin. The action is in response to the population-level conservation impacts sea lion predation is having on wild stocks of salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon and to protect lamprey and eulachon. Data shows that sea lions can consume significant numbers of fish—up to 44 percent of the Columbia River spring Chinook run and 25 percent of the Willamette winter steelhead run each year. The targeted area runs up the Columbia River from the Interstate 205 bridge to the McNary Dam, as well as any tributaries. The permit also includes any area with spawning habitats of threatened or endangered salmon.

Gov. Kate Brown appointed Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Deputy Director Chuck Sams to a new body created to tackle racism in Oregon – the Racial Justice Council. The council’s mission is to “examine and begin to dismantle” policies that have created racial disparities in incarceration, the criminal justice system, health care, housing, the economy and education. Sams told the East Oregonian that he joined the council at Brown’s request and that he wants to help the council in its mission to “dismantle racism,” to help the state continue to recognize tribal sovereignty, and is interested in addressing other issues in the group.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown Friday issued new guidance on face coverings in office spaces. The guidance requires employees in private and public office spaces to wear face coverings or shields unless they’re in private workspaces. Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority says guidance requires employees in private and public office spaces to wear face coverings or shields in specific spaces. He says, “Settings including hallways, elevators, bathrooms and lobbies where 6 foot distancing is not possible.” The guidance provides an exception for people to briefly remove their face coverings in situations where a person’s identity must be verified — such as in a bank or in interactions with law enforcement.