KWSO News for Thu., Sep. 17, 2020

Extremely Hazardous Air conditions are present in Warm Springs this morning.  You can visit this LINK to see real time air monitoring for Warm Springs.  There are 2 monitors, one at the Health & Wellness Center and one at the Branch of Natural Resources.

BNR has an Air Quality Alert in effect until 11am Saturday. (View today’s report HERE)

Because of the Hazardous Air Quality:

  • The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs is delaying the start of work again today until 1pm.
  • ECE will remain closed until air quality improves.
  • The Warm Springs Indian Health Services Clinic will start patient services at 1pm today.

Today is a day of transition as Pacific Northwest Team 3 is turning over command of the Lionshead Fire to Rocky Mountain Team 1. Weather and expected precipitation is expected to mitigate fire behavior on the Lionshead fire with rain in the forecast tonight and tomorrow.  With those showers also come the possibility of thunderstorm activity and some increased winds.

Yesterday the fire stayed within the control lines to its east.  Today there is a focus on the northern edge of the fire with firefighters preparing the B-260 road for a burn out operation.  That control line will both contain the fire as well as protect natural resources.

Evacuation notices remain in place and the National Guard continues to assist Warm Springs PD with law enforcement in evacuation areas to maintain public safety and secure property.  Thick smoke is limiting visibility on Warm Springs Roads and the Highway 26 corridor today.  Motorists should reduce speed and make sure you keep your lights on for safety.

There were nine (9) additional cases of Covid-19 reported between the end of the day Monday,  September 14, 2020 and the end of the day yesterday, Tuesday,  September 15, 2020.  Since testing began Warm Springs has reported 330 cases of Covid-19.  There are currently 16 Active Cases and 9  Close Contacts being monitored by Public Health.  There have been 9 deaths due to Covid-19 in the Warm Springs Community

It is imperative that everyone continue to take all precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19.  Please continue to socially distance from others who do not live in your household.  Getting together with others – whether gathering are small or large – create opportunities for coronavirus to spread.  Please wear a face covering, wash your hands frequently, and disinfect hard surfaces often.

Oregon’s Senators and Representatives in Congress requested and have been granted a public health emergency declaration for the state of Oregon  from U.S. Health and Human Services.  The public health emergency comes as smoke from unprecedented wildfires continues to blanket the state, and most of Oregon is suffering from hazardous air quality.   “Oregon was already facing one major public health emergency, with a once-in-a-century pandemic. Now, deadly fires and hazardous air are compounding the public health dangers our communities face,” said Senator Merkley. “We need as much federal support and assistance as we can get to weather this storm and help Oregonians stay healthy and safe during this double crisis. This declaration will help get housing supports to people in need, target response to families particularly vulnerable to this health emergency, and make sure our communities get through this disaster as safely as possible.”

Thank You to all our firefighters.  STAY SAFE OUT THERE!