KWSO News for Wed., Aug. 19, 2020

Warm Springs Fire Management, in its evening update Tuesday (8/19/20), said the reservation’s largest fire, the P-515 Fire grew to approximately 772 acres. It is burning in steep terrain, brushy areas and dense timbered areas. The Lion’s Head Fire has grown to 144 acres, burning in thick brush and steep slopes. And, dozer crews were able to complete a line around the entirety of the 27-acre Quartz Butte Fire.

Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch reports that gusty winds and hot temperatures increased fire behavior, especially the Green Ridge Fire northeast of Camp Sherman that is now estimated at 500 acres. Aerial resources assisted by cooling hot spots and laying down retardant to slow the progression of the fire, which remains 5% contained. Smokejumpers and a hand crew from the Willamette National Forest continued to work on the Lily Fire on the Deschutes National Forest (DNF). It is now estimated to be 30 acres and 10% contained. And, the Frog Fire in the Maury Mountains on the Ochoco National Forest east of Prineville is now estimated to be 40 acres with no containment.

The White River Fire on the Mt Hood National Forest, 13 miles southeast of Government Camp in the White River drainage is currently estimated to be 150 acres.

The Warm Springs Covid-19 Response team issues a report at 10am weekday mornings.  Report data captures all information recorded up through the end of the prior weekday. The Tuesday, August 18, 2020 report included all information available through August 17, 2020. There were 4 additional cases of Covid-19 reported on Monday. There have been a total of 276 Total Number of Positive cases of Covid-19 in Warm Springs. The report indicated 41 active cases and 42 close contacts being monitored by Public Health. There have been 6 deaths due to Covid-19. Warm Springs data shows that the incidence of Covid-19 is highest for youth and young adults.  The Covid-19 pandemic is having impact on everyone in a countless number of ways.  Having to give up hanging out with friends or limiting time at the skate park when it gets crowded are sacrifices that must be made – to protect our elders and loved ones from Covid-19. SAVE LIVES – MASK UP – KEEP 6 FEET DISTANCE – STAY HOME – DO NOT GATHER IN GROUPS WITH PEOPLE NOT FROM YOUR HOUSEHOLD.

The Madras DMV Office is now accepting appointments. As of Tuesday, 58 of DMV’s 60 offices across Oregon are open by appointment only for services that must be done in person. You can schedule an appointment online at DMV has not resumed behind-the-wheel testing, so if you need a drive test you cannot get a license by setting an appointment now. Due to COVID-19, most DMV business needs to be done by mail or online. The department says it may take several months to catch up with the COVID-19 backlog of customers. State lawmakers have given Oregon residents a grace period through the end of the year to help customers while DMV catches up, this includes a grace period for expired driver licenses, ID cards, vehicle registration, trip permits.

A federal judge ruled in favor of claims that federal dams operators have failed to carry out Endangered Species Act protections for chinook salmon and steelhead on the upper Willamette River. Judge Marco A. Hernandez found The Army Corps of Engineers and the National Marine Fisheries Service have delayed action or failed to take necessary steps for fish survival under a 2008 plan called a biological opinion. Four environmental and conservation groups filed the lawsuit seeking a court mandate for immediate operational adjustments to dams on four key tributaries. Native Fish Society’s Jennifer Fairbrother says dam operators failed to create adequate fish passage. She says “at this point there is not ability for these fish to move of their own volition easily above and below the dams.” Judge Hernandez ordered the parties to come up with a schedule within the next two weeks for briefing the court on how to remedy the legal violations.

Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced that $3.6 million in federal funding is headed to Oregon to support nine Economic Development Districts as they update economic development plans and strengthen support services amid the deepening coronavirus crisis. The funding was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Congress passed in March. Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, in Bend, will receive $400,000 to help provide technical assistance to diversity the Central Oregon economy, and identify pathways to economic recovery.

COVID-19 has claimed nine more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 397, the Oregon Health Authority reported on Tuesday. It also reported 237 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 23,676.