A traffic stop Feb. 11 in The Dalles yielded nearly $90,000 worth of methamphetamine and heroin, according to The Dalles Police Department. Brian Roy Snyder, 49, of Aurora, was arrested at Sixth and Chenowith Loop after he was pulled over for failing to stop at a stop sign, said Detective Sergeant Eric Macnab.
Kevin Dwayne Hester, 34, was arrested Jan. 31 on multiple charges by the Mid-Columbia Interagency Narcotics Task Force (MINT) following the execution of a search warrant at 220 E. 12th St., Apt. C.
Jessie Godsil, her burned and swollen right arm bandaged from the fingers to above the elbow, chased after her four-year-old, Kiva, in the foyer of the motel they were staying in. “Ouch,” she whispered as she hoisted him into her lap. On Friday, Jan. 18, Godsil had raced out of her burning house on Nevada Street, Kiva in her arms. Her path to the door forced her past the burning sofa in the living room where the fire apparently started. Kiva wasn’t hurt.
The Dalles Police Department is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to get drunk drivers off the roads and help save lives this holiday season. The national high-visibility enforcement campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” runs now through Dec. 31.
The Dalles Police Officer Chris Simonds came back from a conference last December with an idea he could quickly and easily implement: helping transients get replacement IDs. But for some reason, the idea didn’t take off until just a few weeks ago, when the Mid-Columbia Community Action Council suggested to a client that they take Simonds up on his offer.
Wade Delco’s full-time job these days is recovering from a Nov. 14 fire that destroyed his business, Wamic Auto Parts, one of only two businesses in town. He is rebuilding but doesn’t know when he’ll reopen. The fire, which started about 9 p.m., caused a total loss.
The Dalles Police Department has been awarded three grants to do emphasis patrols targeting driving while intoxicated, cell phone use, and failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. The patrols will start this month and continue through next September, and the public will get advance notice each time.
Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue has been monitoring the fire danger levels determined by the Oregon Department of Forestry. The current fire danger is listed as MODERATE and regulated use requirements are still in effect. Open fires are prohibited.
The Oregon Department of Forestry’s central Oregon district will terminate the Regulated Use Closure for district lands Oct 9 as cooler fall weather combined with precipitation over the weekend has improved conditions.
The grass fire that ignited in Biggs Junction Tuesday destroyed a home Thursday, according to the North Sherman Rural Fire Protection District as reported by KATU2. The fire had burned at least 7,500 acres by Thursday evening.
The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area will conduct prescribed burning in the eastern Gorge this fall and winter as part of an ongoing fire fuels management program that hopes to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and improve forest health. “We’re coming into a weather window – which means temperatures, humidity, and ground moisture are just right for successfully burning while still maintaining control of the fire,” said Roland Rose, a fire fuels planner with the national scenic area.
A burn ban remains in effect in the Mt. Hood National Forest east of Hwy. 35 and south to the forest boundary due to dry conditions and lack of rain. The ban includes campfires, recreational shooting and off road vehicle use and is in effect through Oct. 31 or until lifted. A burn ban also remains in place for eastern Klickitat County through Oct. 31.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown visited Sherman County last week and heard from farmers and cattlemen that repairing roads and fences were top issues following the summer’s devastating fires.
Crews from Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue attack a fully engulfed vehicle fire on Interstate 84, westbound near The Dalles Dam exit, on Labor Day morning. Traffic was restricted to one lane as the fire was extinguished and the van removed.
Contractors and Northern Wasco County People’s Utility District (NWCPUD) crews will be inspecting electric system infrastructure in the areas impacted by recent wildfires in the Dufur and Tygh Valley areas today, Aug. 22.
The third structure fire within a week occurred Saturday in Hood River. Aug. 11 saw a destructive blaze in a Hood River residential neighborhood, on Aug. 14 came a garage fire in a rural area west of Hood River, and the latest was at the edge of a cliff, mostly unreachable by foot.
Campfires are now banned on all lands protected from wildfire by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) east of the Cascades. This ban joins many other jurisdictions that have also prohibited campfires. “We’ve had 47 wildfires started by campfires this year,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz.
There have been 200 abandoned campfires in the past several weeks within the Mt. Hood National Forest and a special team of fire prevention experts is now on the move to educate visitors about safety restrictions in place during hot and dry weather. “Everybody needs to be aware of the dangers of wildfire, while still enjoying the many recreational benefits the national forest provides,” said Mark Wiles, leader of the Mt. Hood National Forest NW Area Fire Prevention Team.
Containment on the 167-acre Memaloose 2 Fire was listed at 65 percent Monday night. Evacuation levels have been reduced with the improved containment. More than 100 firefighters are working on the fire under the direction of the Oregon Department of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
Dufur Gap Road rancher Mike Filbin is relieved that U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., was successful in his bid to have the federal government allow emergency grazing on some preserve lands. The South Valley Fire came within 15 feet of destroying Filbin’s home and outbuildings last week.
A fire in the Precision Lumber building in the industrial park on Crates Way broke out early Friday afternoon. Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, joined by other agencies, was on the scene soon after the fire broke out and evacuated The Port of The Dalles office and other nearby offices. The cause of the blaze is unknown at this time.
Law enforcement officials and firefighters converged on Fred Meyer Saturday morning but there was no emergency — personnel from several area agencies were taking children school shopping. “We’ve never done this before, I think it’s going to be pretty cool,” said Wasco County Chief Deputy Scott Williams.
Dufur — All evacuation levels for the South Valley Fire near Dufur have been reduced to Level 1 (Get Ready). There are 212 homes threatened by the fire with 636 people under a Level 1 evacuation, according to a news release from the Oregon Fire Marshall.
WISHRAM — The Washington State Department of Transportated has reopened a section of Highway 14 closed for fire fighting activies, although the speed limit has been reduced to 45 miles per hours through the area.
Three members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation are on the move to get federal assistance for farmers in Sherman and Wasco counties who have sustained damage from recent wildfires. U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., has written a letter asking U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to allow emergency grazing of livestock on Conservation Reserve Program ground. He also asks that farmers be given flexibility to plant cover crops for soil stabilization without being placed in the continuous production category with the Risk Management Agency and having their crop insurance adversely affected.
DUFUR – Hundreds of people have been evacuated from the area southwest of Dufur where the South Valley Fire is threatening 80 to 100 homes. The blaze southwest of Dufur involved 15,000 acres as of Thursday morning and was about 5 percent contained.
UPDATE: ODOT: US197 south of The Dalles, near Dufur, now closed from milepost 14 south to milepost 34 due to wildfire. ODOT on scene. Detour not established. Motorists should find alternative route. As of 7 p.m.: LEVEL TWO: GET SET (Previously @ Level 1) The area of "the blinking light" (Hwy 197 & 216) all the way to Conroy Rd and the top of Sherar's Bridge is now under level 2, North to the current level 3 zone. This includes Hulse Rd, Tygh Ridge Rd, and all points in between. Begin to prepare for the possibility of evacuating. #SouthValleyFire 08/01/18 @ 1918 UPDATED EVACUATIONS: #SouthValleyFire LEVEL 3 (Go now) In addition to the previous 83000 blk of Rail Hollow Rd (to the forest boundary) Sheriff Magill has added all of Winslow Rd and Shell Rock Rd and all points in between. The Wasco County Sheriff's Office has issued Level 3 (GO NOW) evacuations for the 8200 block of Rail Hollow Road to the Mount Hood National Forest boundary. Crews are engaged with a fire Southwest of Dufur.
Though you’d be hard pressed to find any smoke, the 33,451-acre Long Hollow Fire was still listed at 75 percent contained Tuesday, as the hard work of mop up in steep canyons continued, according to a spokesperson. “We’re on a glide path to demobilize and turn this fire back to the local administration by Wednesday,” said Alan Hoffmeister, public information officer with the Northwest Incident Management Team 10.
Level three evacuation notices – leave immediately – have been issued to Wasco County residents between Sherers Falls to Mack’s Canyon along the Deschues River due to a grass fire that started Thursday afternoon.
All campfires are now prohibited across the Mt. Hood National Forest, including developed campgrounds, due to very dry and hot conditions in the forest, according to agency officials. Target shooting, ATV use, and smoking outside enclosed buildings or vehicles are also prohibited on all lands managed by the USFS.
The Squally Point Fire was held to 19 acres Tuesday afternoon. Reported just before 2 p.m., the fire was burning in grass and brush approximately four miles northwest of The Dalles, near the Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center. The fire is human caused and under investigation, but is not suspicious in nature.
The Dalles — Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GOBHI) has established an online account to gather funds assisting those impacted by the Substation Fire in Sherman and Wasco counties.
Wheat fields burnt in the Substation Fire — 79,121 acres in Wasco and Sherman County — are now at risk of both wind and water erosion, according to soil and water conservationists with the United States Department of Agriculture personnel in The Dalles. “Both wind and water can be a problem,” said Clinton Whitten, who works on soil issues with farmers in both counties.
The Regional Solutions Office of the state of Oregon reminds producers in Wasco and Sherman counties that “any time you have crop damage that will adversely affect your yield or crop value, you may be eligible to file a claim,” according to a press release. Producers must Contact their USDA agent within 72 hours after discovery of damage, the release said.
Judy Urness could hear the fire alarms going off in the background Tuesday as she called her son Charlie to tell him to stop trying to save their house on Emerson Loop Road and just get out. “But he didn’t listen to me,” she said of her 24-year-old son. “But my house is standing. I guess he gets away with it this time.”
Kylee VanOrman-Ruby said neighboring farmers did everything they could to save her parents property, but Tuesday’s fire was driven by strong wind gusts that couldn’t be controlled. “Everyone tried to get ahead of it, but it was everywhere — it was just unbelievable,” she said.
The 70,000-acre Substation fire, threatening 900 homes in Sherman County, became the top priority fire in the nation Thursday, an official said. It was 15 percent contained as of Friday morning.
On July 18 at approximately 1:30 p.m., Wasco County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a call of a burnt tractor. Deputies located the tractor and also located the operator of the tractor a short distance away, deceased. It appears the tractor operator died as a result of exposure to the fire.
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