KWSO News for Mon., Aug. 8, 2022

The Miller Road fire began on Tuesday August 2nd near the Juniper Flat area in Wasco County and went from 42% contained on Saturday to 95% contained on Sunday Morning. It has burned almost 11 thousand acres and significant work has been done by firefighters from the rural fire districts, Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and Northwest Incident Management Team 8. Hand crews have been focusing on mop-up operations along the 25 miles of the fire’s perimeter and around structures with the goal of establishing a cold black containment line preventing any lingering interior fire from escaping. OSFM Task Forces and other resources will be progressively demobing back to their home agencies. A smaller incident management organization will remain on the fire comprised of 2 hand crews and engines patrolling the fire and continuing mop-up. Further updates can be found at

The Green Butte Fire, located on the Bend-Fort Rock Danger District on the Deschutes National Forest approximately 13 miles southeast of La Pine and approximately two miles northeast of Spring Butte, remains 23 acres and is now 80% contained.

The Karuk Tribe says a massive wildfire burning in a remote area just south of Oregon appears to have caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Klamath River fish. Tribal fisheries biologists believe a flash flood caused by heavy rains over the burn area caused a massive debris flow that entered the river and sent oxygen levels plummeting to zero. The Karuk are working with the Yurok, another Northern California tribe, and state and federal agencies to fully to understand what happened. They say the damage is likely limited to 10 or 20 miles of river.

On the southwest Washington coast, Shoalwater Bay tribal leaders say their new tsunami evacuation platform should be an example and inspiration for other vulnerable communities. The tribe today (on Friday) held a joyful dedication ceremony for the 50-foot tall tower. Here’s correspondent Tom Banse in Tokeland. “This double-decker tsunami evacuation tower resembles things previously built in Japan, but it’s the first of its type in North America. The two other tsunami refuge structures on the Northwest coast — in Newport, Oregon and Westport, Washington — are reinforced platforms on the roofs of a school or university building. The Tokeland tower platforms have a capacity of more than 400 people, which is considerably more than the population of the Shoalwater Bay tribe. So, a lot of the tribe’s neighbors can escape the waves here too.” That’s correspondent Tom Banse. The most likely next place in the Northwest to build a tsunami evacuation tower is the town of Ocean Shores, Washington, which is working with an engineering company on the design.

Rescue Ranch, a non-profit in Yreka, has taken in 161 dogs since the McKinney Fire Started. Most of them were dropped off by evacuees who don’t have space for them while they’re away from home. Now that some evacuation orders have relaxed, roughly 70 dogs have been able to return home with their owners. Natalie Golay with Rescue Ranch says that staff and volunteers get through these intense periods with support from the community. “Every time we’ve had one of these fires the community has rallied. I set up a page Saturday morning sometime in the middle of the night with a $20,000 goal and I think right now it’s actually reached $33,000.” Because of this week’s new evacuation orders in the Happy Camp area due to the Yeti Fire, Golay says more pets could be on the way.

An arrest warrant has been issued for a fired Toppenish High School teacher accused of sexual misconduct with a student. The Yakima Herald-Republic reports Bertha Cerna was charged in Yakima County Superior Court last week with sexual misconduct with a minor and two counts of furnishing liquor to minors. The charges follow a former student telling authorities that Bertha Cerna had sex with him while he was a minor. Cerna and her husband, John Cerna were fired from the school district following an investigation by the school district into a student’s allegations that they had supplied her with alcohol. Bertha Cerna told the newspaper she had no comment.

KWSO Weather for Central Oregon:

  • Sunny and hot today with a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms and a high near 106 degrees
  • Tonight, Mostly Cloudy with a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms and a low around 68
  • Mostly Sunny and hot with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms and a high near 101 degrees

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