KWSO News for Tue., Aug. 25, 2020

Firefighters continue to make progress on both of the fires burning on the Warm Springs reservation.

  • Yesterday, firefighters on the P-515 Fire improved the fire line by extinguishing and removing burning material along the line, dealing with snags, and moving logs.  Crews continue to secure and strengthen fire lines on the north, south, and west ends of the fire. On the east flank, firefighters secured the last mile of line overnight by eliminating unburned fuels between the fire’s edge and containment line through burn operations.
  • Yesterday on the Lionshead Fire crews used aviation assets on the southern flank after the smoke cleared to support on-ground efforts.  Dozers were used on the north side of the fire to go both direct and indirect to extend the fire line to the west towards Lionshead Peak.  Firefighters located a spot fire on the southerm flank and were able to contain that spot.
  • Today’s plans for the P-515 Fire will be for resources to focus their mop-up efforts on concentrated sources of heat along the southern and northern perimeter of the fire. Resources will work on the western flank to better secure the fire line. And, on the Lionshead Fire, direct and indirect operations will work to improve the P-440 road in preparation for burning out the northern flank and prepping the eastern flank to secure the fire line.   Crews will continue road prep along the southern perimeter of the fire.
  • All previous road and trail closures remain active, as does the Level 1 Evacuation (Get Ready) for residents on Trout Lake Road.

Warm Springs Tribal Credit has changed its business hours. Services are available from 10am to 3pm. The ATM Lobby will be open – masks are required and only one person can be in the lobby at a time. The drive through window will be open for check cashing, loan payments and to turn and receive paperwork.

There were 6 additional cases of Covid-19 reported between last Thursday (8/20/20) and Friday (8/21/20). The Warm Springs Covid-19 report issued Monday morning, August 24, 2020 includes all information available through August 21, 2020. There have been 296 Total Positive cases of Covid-19 since testing began and there are 34 Active Cases and 51 Close Contacts being monitored by Public Health. The total number of tests done at the Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center is 2578. 32 people have been hospitalized and 28 been discharged from the hospital.

Oregon Health Authority released its Weekly Testing Report Monday, which showed that as of August 22, Oregon’s cumulative positive testing rate is 4.5 percent of people tested. This is considerably lower than the national average of 9 percent. Of the 24,177 people tested the week of Aug. 16-22, 1,233 (5.1%) were positive. The total for that week is likely to rise as test results continue to be reported to OHA. It is reassuring that test positivity is relatively stable, which suggests that the number of people newly infected with COVID-19 each week is no longer increasing rapidly.

An air quality alert has been issued for central Oregon due to wildfire smoke. Smoke can worsen symptoms for people who have preexisting health conditions and those who are particularly sensitive to air pollution. You should contact your health care provider to develop a smoke plan. Sensitive groups include: Persons with asthma, other chronic respiratory diseases, or cardiovascular disease. People over age 65, Infants and children, Pregnant women and Smokers. Here are some ways to gauge the air quality outside:

  • If visibility is well over five miles, the air quality is generally good. Even if visibility is five miles away but generally hazy, air quality is moderate and beginning to deteriorate, and is generally healthy, except possibly for smoke sensitive persons. The general public should avoid prolonged exposure if conditions are smoky to the point where visibility is closer to the five mile range.
  • If under five miles, the air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups and they should minimize outdoor activity.
  • If under three miles, the air quality is unhealthy for everyone and outdoor activity should be limited.
  • If under one mile, the air quality is unhealthy for everyone and all should avoid any outdoor activities.