KWSO News for Thu., Oct. 8, 2020

Aviation support is helping cool and slow the progression of hotspots around the Lionshead Fire including a spot fire on the finger to the north while firefighters carry on with the many details of repair and rehabilitation.    Before an incident management team embarks on the repair and rehabilitation phase of a fire, the agencies affected provide written standards for the level of work to be performed. While many standards are universal, others set guidelines for specific values. On the reservation, any dead standing trees not at risk of toppling are to be left in place for harvesting. Slash piles are to be located away from legacy stumps, which are more than 50 years old and considered historic.

Wednesday’s winds drew smoke from the California wildfires into the area, which could settle into the valleys today. A cold front moving in from Canada will lower temperatures into in the 50s and 60s, with higher humidity levels and 20 percent chance of precipitation. Winds could gust up to 23 mph.

Deschutes National Forest officials have reduced the Lionshead Fire Closure area, reopening some popular locations on the Sisters Ranger District. The public can now access  Round Lake, Jack Lake Trailhead and Jack Creek, as well as the southern portion of the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness.

Due to continued fire activity, the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness remains closed north of Minto Lake, which includes entry from Bear Valley, Cabot Lake and Jefferson Lake Trailheads.  The southern half of Mt. Hood National Forest is closed, however, the forest has reopened a large area on the east side.   Hunters and others wanting to recreate should watch for fire traffic on highways and secondary roads, and also be aware the Sept. 7 wind event also left many downed trees and other hazards in areas not affected by the fire.

You can read the full fire update HERE
Check out today’s fire map HERE

A panel of three appellate judges has upheld a lower court order allowing the 2020 head count of every U.S. resident to continue through October 31st.  But the panel on Wednesday struck down a provision that had suspended a year-end deadline for turning in figures used for deciding how many congressional seats each state gets. The ruling by the three judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld part of U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh’s preliminary injunction last month, and rejected part of it. Attorneys have indicated they would likely appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It is critical that Warm Springs residents participate in the 2020 Census.  Our community is typically undercounted and that means needed resources allocated to the reservation may fall short.  If you have not participated in the census – you can do it online until October 31st.  Do it today by going

The Four Columbia River Tribes have chosen to conclude commercial gillnet fishing.  The season ended yesterday for Columbia River Zone 6.  Steelhead counts this year exceeded preseason projections and catches matched the larger run size.  Platform and hook and line fisheries will remain open through December 31st for both subsistence and commercial use.

The water of the Deschutes River in late September turned a brownish-green color, after the Wickiup reservoir went dry.  When the reservoir emptied, what was left was just the Deschutes River running through the sediment of the reservoir. This was the first time in 70 years that Wickiup had gone dry.  Downstream in the Deschutes River, the discoloration was due to the Wickiup sediment being churned up by the river.  River flow has been impacted in recent years by a number of factors, including reduced snowpack and prolonged drought, as well as requirements by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to increase flows in winter to support Oregon spotted frog habitat.  The impact of the sediment on fish is not yet known.   You can read more on page 7 of this week’s  Spilyay Tymoo

The Nov. 3 General Election is less than a month away, and Oregon’s Secretary of State Bev Clarno reminds voters that Voters’ Pamphlets Arrive this week.  The Last Day to Register is next Tuesday October 13th.  Ballots Start Mailing Out October 14th.  Last Day to Mail in Ballots October 27th.  Election Day is November 3rd.  Ballots must be received in an election office or official ballot drop box by 8:00 p.m. on November 3rd to be counted! Postmarks do not count

Portland Public Schools will not offer in-person classes until at least February due to the risk of spreading COVID-19. Some districts are announcing similar steps, including Gresham-Barlow, which said Wednesday that its students will be learning online at least through the end of November. According to Oregon Public Broadcasting – a Portland Public Schools official offered a “plea” to the community to follow “safe” steps to maintain public health, including wearing masks, to help the district return to in-person instruction as soon as possible.  Read the full story HERE