KWSO News for Fri., Sep. 25, 2020

Cooler and wetter weather and additional resources have allowed firefighters to continue to gain ground on the Lionshead Fire.  There is a pre-recorded Virtual Public Meeting today at noon on the Lionshead Fire regarding the 9am change of evacuation levels in Marion County for Detroit, Idahna and Elkhorn along the North Fork Road.  Those areas are moving to a Level 2 “BE SET” notice.  Pilot cars will be used to lead residents through closed sections of Oregon 22E between Gates and Detroit.  There is no through access to the Santiam Pass from the Detroit/Idanha area at this time due to hazardous trees and debris.

Elsewhere OR 126 McKenzie Highway remains closed but there will be Pilot car guided caravans through the road closure zone, with the first leaving from the west end of the closure at mp 27.55 two miles east of Vida, to mp 38, Caravans will travel one direction at a time.

If you are traveling at all in the state this weekend – you should check for any road closures or delays.


The Oregon Health Authority reported 382 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, which is the state’s highest daily case count since mid-July. Oregon’s COVID-19 case count, since the start of the pandemic, is now 31,865. The death toll is 539.   Nearly 25% of the cases reported yesterday were in Multnomah County.


The Warm Springs Tribal Police Department has received a federal traffic safety grant that will allow for the hiring of two full-time highway safety officers. These officers will be charged with patrolling the major roadways crossing the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.  This year there have been several catastrophic vehicle accidents on Hwy 26 and other arteries resulting in the loss of life. The main reason for these accidents are related to one or more of three factors; speeding, reckless driving, and drinking.  Please be safe on the roads and drive cautiously.


This week federal lawmakers acknowledged a long standing betrayal of the Warm Springs and Wasco tribes. As Emily Cureton reports, Congress unanimously passed a bill headed to President Trump’s desk for his signature.  “Some of the country’s most powerful Republicans and Democrats agree on something: US officials defrauded the Wasco and Warm Springs tribes in 1865.  That’s when a so-called supplemental treaty prohibited tribal members from leaving the Warm Springs reservation, even though an earlier treaty protected their rights to travel, hunt and fish.   Louie Pitt is director of governmental Affairs for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. He says the bill to nullify a more than century old wrong also protects against future injustice. PITT: “that ability to live as Indian people offer creator’s gifts to us,  so fish and wildlife roots and berries, is as important to us as the air we breathe.”  Pitt says enforcing legitimate treaty rights is an ongoing struggle.


The On and Off Reservation Fish and Wildlife Committees are looking for ceremonial deer hunters and cutters.  You must be an Enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs 18 years and older and you must be  Eligible to legally possess a firearm.  You need to not have any wildlife violation cases, Have a reliable vehicle registered and insured and a valid drivers license for lead hunter or driver hunter.  Hunters will be tasked with hunting deer for tribal freezer which will be used for ceremonial and traditional gatherings.  Hunting will be in open and unclaimed lands (federal and state lands open) within our ceded lands and off reservation hunting areas. Apply through fish and wildlife committee secretary Angie Blackwolf.  Email:  (Phone: 5415533257)