KWSO News for Thu., Jul. 15, 2021

The Grandview Fire has burned 5,971 Acres and is 14% contained in Jefferson County.  Last evenings update says firefighters were challenged by west wind that pushed on the east flank of the fire. Despite gusty winds and continued hot and dry conditions, there was minimal growth on the Grandview Fire, burning on private lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Crooked River National Grassland.     A Red Flag Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service and remains in effect through today.   For up-to-date information on the Grandview Fire, please visit:  There are evacuation notices in place issued by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office. Those can be found here:

The Bootleg Fire in south central Oregon continues to grow. On Wednesday, it had burned more than 212,000 acres. As Jefferson Public Radio’s Erik Neumann reports, it’s drawing resources from around the state with over 60 members of the Oregon National Guard have arrived in Klamath County to help with evacuations and road closures, and to keep people out of burned areas.  Marcus Kaufman is with the Oregon Department of Forestry, one of the groups managing the fire. He says wildfire resources are already stretched — from personnel with the state Fire Marshals to the Department of Forestry to the Forest Service.  Kaufmann says “We simply don’t have the resources for another start. And we are relying on the public to be responsible with fire and not create another spark and not create another fire.”
Kaufmann says the fire has been growing and then stabilizing this week. That’s because of smoke inversions that slow its growth. Once the smoke blows out, the fire kicks up again.  After a week of uncontrolled growth, firefighters reached 5% containment on Wednesday.

In Tribal Council business last Tuesday (7/6/21) There were updates from Brenda Bremner for the Bureau of Indian Affairs plus State and Federal Legislative Updates.  Tribal Council agreed to have councilman Glendon Smith assume the Secretary-Treasurer position through next April, with the resignation of Michele Stacona at ST/CEO.  Tribal Council’s session ended at 11:15 with the closing of the Tribal Administration Building.   On Monday this week, Tribal Council cancelled their session

Warm Springs Tribal Police report that a missing 74-year-old has been located and is alright.  They posted information on their Facebook page this week reporting that Evans Spino Sr. had last been seen by family last Friday.   He is safely back home.

Congress will take another look at legalizing marijuana nationwide. And  leaders within Oregon’s cannabis industry are hopeful the state can take a major role in shaping the legislation. Sam Stites reports that business leaders, advocates and lobbying groups agree that this latest effort to legalize cannabis nationally is an opportunity for Oregon to put the state’s experience on display.   The bill will focus on releasing people convicted of non-violent marijuana crimes from jail, expunging their criminal records and providing opportunities for economically disadvantaged communities to establish themselves within the legal industry.   One of the chief proponents is Senator Ron Wyden, who chairs the finance committee where the legislation will receive public comment. Wyden and his co-sponsors, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Shumer are now seeking public input on their draft legislation.

On a visit to Oregon, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg [BOOT-edge-edge] highlighted the need for infrastructure investment to reduce carbon emissions and increase safety.  KLCC’s Rachael McDonald reports that the former mayor got to test drive an electric bus while visiting Eugene / Springfield and following that supervised test drive, Buttigieg said this kind of transition to zero-carbon transportation is what the INVEST in America Act will help facilitate.  “It’s, of course, going to make the air cleaner here in Lane County. It’s going to reduce carbon emissions around the world. And it’s coming at a moment when Oregon, unfortunately, like so many other places in the world, has reminded us of what’s at stake in the climate crisis.”  Buttigieg referred to the recent historic triple digit heatwave in the northwest and the numerous wildfires burning in the west. The Secretary also visited Corvallis where he learned of recent pedestrian fatalities and spoke of making roads safer for all modes of transport.