KWSO News for Fri., Jul. 16, 2021

Oregon Humanities and Oregon Community Foundation announced the recipients of the 2021-23 Fields Artist Fellowship: Four Oregon artists who will each receive $100,000 over the next two years. One of those artists is CarlaDean Caldera, a Culture Bearer and Advocate of the Northern Paiute. As a scholar and teacher since 2000, CarlaDean has shared her love and knowledge of Northern Paiute Bands cultural legacies. According to the press release, she will use this fellowship to share Northern Paiute culture, teachings, and the Numu Yaduan language, using digital technologies, public events, and outings.


Jay Mathisen has begun his duties as the new superintendent of the Jefferson County 509-J School District. His prior work experience includes teacher, deputy superintendent and assistant superintendent of the Bend-LaPine schools and most recently, before coming to 509-J, director of educational leadership at George Fox University. After his second week on the job, he says he is looking forward to the work ahead:



With no additional growth and minimal fire activity, crews on the Grandview Fire have been able to focus all efforts on mopping up the perimeter of fire to increase containment. Since the fire began on Sunday, firefighters have been focused on suppressing the blaze, which remains 5,971 acres and is now 20 percent contained. Crews were able to get a hose lay around the entire fire perimeter to begin or continue mop-up operations. Mop-up is the tedious process of ensuring that everything within 150 feet – 300 feet of the fire perimeter is cool to the touch so embers cannot escape and reignite the fire. Crews will work on this next phase of suppression until full containment is achieved.

The Darlene Fire, burning on private lands near La Pine, has burned three homes, one RV and 11 other structures. It is now estimated at 678 acres and containment has reached five percent. The fire was first reported Tuesday afternoon and forced Level 3 and Level 2 evacuations.

The Bootleg Fire, 28 miles northeast of Klamath Falls, has now burned 241,497 acres according to this morning’s update. It is 7% contained. For the fourth day in a row, firefighters withdrew from leading edges of the Bootleg Fire as extreme fire conditions fueled expansive fire growth. In the late afternoon, a large pyrocumulus cloud ‘collapsed’ further spreading embers to the east of the main fire and prompting additional evacuation notices for the communities of Summer Lake and Spring Lake in Lake County. Crews worked through the night to get dozer lines around spot fires over the 34 Road to the southeastern edge of the fire. To the north, crews continued to work against very active surface fire, spotting up to a half mile ahead of the main fire, and dry southern winds. “The Bootleg Fire perimeter is more than 200 miles long- that’s an enormous amount of line to build and hold.” said Rob Allen, Incident Commander for the Pacific Northwest Area Incident Management Team 2. “We are continuing to use every resource from dozers to air tankers to engage where it’s safe to do so especially with the hot, dry, windy conditions predicted to worsen into the weekend.” On Thursday, firefighters made excellent progress on the southern edge of the fire as winds pushed the fire back into itself. On the fire’s western edge, firefighters continue to successfully hold the existing containment lines and are patrolling for any remaining hotspots near the fireline. In addition, several crews will continue working to protect and wrap houses towards Paisley and Summer Lake as a precaution ahead of potential fire growth toward those communities over the coming days. Additional structural firefighters will arrive today to assist the east side of the fire with structure protection.


(AP) Officials say a journeyman jockey who rode thoroughbreds and quarter horses around the Pacific Northwest was killed Wednesday at the Crooked River Roundup Horse Race in Prineville. The Bulletin reports the Jockey Guild says 29-year-old Eduardo Gutierrez-Sosa was based primarily out of Grants Pass. He was married and had three children who were known to greet him after his races. Prineville Police Capt. Larry Seymour said Thursday that Gutierrez-Sosa was killed about 7:40 p.m. in the first race of the night. Seymour says he was thrown from his horse and died from injuries sustained in the fall. Prineville Police and the state racing board are investigating.


U.S. Senator for Oregon Ron Wyden is among a handful of other senators who introduced a bill on Thursday that would invest over $21 billion to enhance the safety, grid resilience benefits and power generating capacity of America’s dams and provide historic funding to remove dams that are no longer necessary. Companion legislation to the Twenty-First Century Dams Act was introduced last week in the House of Representatives.  Wyden said The Act would enhance safety, improve hydroelectric generation and reconnect thousands of miles of streams through voluntary removal of aging dams. In the United States there are more than 90,000 dams, including 6,000 “high-hazard” dams that have poor, unsatisfactory or unknown safety ratings that without rehabilitation would pose a threat to human life if they fail. Many dams that generate hydropower are aging and need upgrades to continue providing an essential baseload source of renewable energy. Additionally, some of the nation’s dams have outlived their useful life and should be removed to restore rivers to their natural state.