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The number of people expected to descend on Central Oregon for the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse has more than tripled from earlier estimates, and Wasco County Sheriff Lane Magill has upgraded public safety plans accordingly. Instead of the projected 75,000 people traveling to Jefferson County to be close to Madras, which lies squarely in the Path of Totality, there are likely to be 250,000.

Wasco County is sending pairs of deputies to do five-day community policing stints in Harney County, as the militia takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge continues. Chief Deputy Lane Magill and Sgt. Chris McNeel took the first shift, going to Burns, the seat of Harney County, on Monday, Jan. 4 and returning Friday, Jan. 8.

Two members of the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office went to Harney County yesterday as part of a mutual aid request to help contend with an armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.