KWSO News for Tue., Jul., 27, 2021

Authorities were hopeful that improving weather will help them continue to make progress against the nation’s largest wildfire, the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon. It was 53% contained after scorching 640 square miles of remote land. On Monday, an additional crew of Oregon National Guardsmen was sent to help out the more than 2,200 people battling the blaze. The lightning-caused fire has burned at least 70 homes, mainly cabins, and some 2,000 residences were under evacuation orders.

The Warm Springs community COVID-19 Update Monday reported 1 new case of COVID-19 from 16 tests conducted Friday, July 23 At the Health & Wellness Center. Last week (7/19/21-7/23/21) there were 6 new cases of COVID-19 in Warm Springs. There are currently 6 people with active COVID-19 and 3 close contacts receiving daily monitoring.

Most Oregonians who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will receive emergency allotments in August. The federal government has approved emergency allotments every month since March 2020, to give SNAP recipients additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency allotments will be available on Aug. 11 for current SNAP households. New SNAP households will receive the emergency allotments Aug. 31 or Sept. 2.SNAP recipients do not have to take any action to receive these supplemental benefits as they will be issued directly on their EBT cards.

Another power outage occurred last night in Warm Springs for Pacific Power and Light Customers starting around 10:40. Although power was restored to most customers, a portion of Greeley Heights homes remained without electricity this month. PP&L estimates power will be restored by 8:30 this morning.

Drought conditions continue to worsen in Oregon. Over 56% of Oregon faces Extreme Drought conditions – with nearly 17% of the state experiencing Exceptional Drought, the worst category. Over 90% of the state qualifies as Severe Drought or worse. 23 of the 36 counties in Oregon have declared drought status. Not a square inch of Oregon doesn’t qualify as at least Moderate Drought.

Governor Kate Brown has opened an emergency alert system, OR-Alert, for Oregonians to help prepare for natural disasters. The system has been implemented in all state counties as of today to help reach everyone in case of ice storms, drought, fires or record-breaking weather. OR-Alert lets people across the state sign in for custom alerts to the region they live in. “Last year’s historic fire season taught us that being prepared can truly be the difference between life and death,” said Governor Brown. Governor Brown also mentioned the increase in weather events means Oregonians need to be warned faster and allow more resources for families. You can sign up by texting your ZIP code to 888777, downloading the mobile app or going to

A federal judge has denied environmentalists’ request for a court order temporarily blocking the government from digging trenches for archaeological surveys at a lithium mine planned near the Nevada-Oregon line. The proposed Thacker Pass mine is home to the biggest known U.S. deposit of lithium.