KWSO News for Tue., Jun. 22, 2021

The S-503 Fire continues to burn in timber and grasses on the Warm Springs Reservation.  Firefighters focused on securing areas of concern including structures and residences, according to last night’s fire update. On the northwest and north flanks, firefighters began mop-up cooling any smokes near the containment lines. On the east flank, a spot fire near Bald Peter was boxed in with retardant and direct dozer line is being constructed to secure.  On the southwest flank, there was a little growth. The S-503 Fire is 6,201 acres, and 10% contained. Northwest Incident Management Team 8 assumed management of the S-503 Fire Monday.  The incident command post is located at the Wasco County Fairgrounds, a Base Camp is located off Ashby Rd also in Tygh Valley and a spike camp is located in Bear Springs Campground. This fire is being managed as a full suppression fire.

Warm Springs Fire Management said on its Facebook page that there is a fire called the Fish Hatchery Fire near the hatchery that was reported at about 42.5 acres as of this morning. Warm Springs fire crews and engines worked throughout the night and had the fire in check with a containment line. Also, a fire near the mill site this morning is reported at about an acre.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10, in coordination with the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, has issued a ban on all outdoor open burning on the Reservation due to wildfire smoke. This ban is in effect until further notice. The burn ban applies to all outdoor and agricultural burning—including camping and recreational fires—in all areas within external reservation boundaries regardless of ownership or tribal membership. Ceremonial and traditional fires are exempt from the burn ban. EPA requests that all residents reduce all sources of air pollution as much as possible, including driving and idling of vehicles. Air pollution can harm your health and can have lasting effects. Community cooperation with the ban will help people who are most at risk, including children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with asthma or difficulty breathing, diabetes, heart problems or otherwise compromised health. These sensitive groups should avoid outdoor exercise and minimize exposure to outdoor pollution as much as possible. To check conditions in your area, go to the AirNow Fire and Smoke map:

With lightning in the forecast and several parts of the state under a Red Flag Warning or a Fire Weather Watch, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal is staging firefighting resources in Central Oregon.  This is a proactive move for the region to be better prepared and bolster any initial fire attack. These firefighters are not being assigned to a specific incident but will be an added resource and increase the state’s readiness if there is a fire.  Two firefighting task forces, one from Marion County and one from Washington County, will be stationed in Central Oregon, ready to respond and help local resources in the event a wildfire erupts and threatens structures. These teams will be prepositioned for 72-hours but may stay longer if they are needed. The OSFM encourages all Oregonians to be aware of the dry conditions and take the necessary precautions to avoid sparking a fire.

On July 15th, nearly all working families will start seeing $250 to $300 per child automatically deposited in their bank accounts or sent to their mailboxes. The American Rescue Plan increased the #ChildTaxCredit payments from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of six — and made the payments automatic and monthly for most. Nearly all families with kids will qualify. Those with higher incomes may qualify for a smaller benefit or no benefit. If you filed your 2019 or 2020 tax return, or if you signed up for stimulus payments using the IRS’s Non-filer tool last year, you’re all set. For those who didn’t earn enough income to be required to pay taxes, you can use the Non-Filers tool to sign up for the Child Tax Credit. If you’re late filing taxes, you can still file a return to get monthly Child Tax Credit payments in 2021. You can learn more about the #ChildTaxCredit at

The Madras Lady White Buffalos play today in the 4A Showcase Final 8. It’s being played at Pendleton High School, and tipoff is at 5:00. #6 Madras is playing #3 LaGrande. A live stream will be available – keep an eye on the Madras White Buffalo Girls Basketball Facebook page for the link.

The Oregon Health Authority reported two new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon and 78 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. The agency noted that the daily case count is unusually low.  Although a low case count is welcome news, OHA is interpreting this with caution. Reported case counts on Mondays are typically the lowest of the week, and some of the Local Public Health Authorities did not process laboratory reports Sunday.