A 75-year-old man from The Dalles who became lost Thursday while hiking in the Laurence Lake area in the Upper Hood River Valley was located Sunday afternoon in good condition. The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office says David Bullock was able to find his way back to the west end of Laurence Lake and flag down a fisherman. Bullock had become separated from his wife while on a day hike Thursday afternoon when he wanted to go check out a rock formation. Bullock told the Sheriff’s officers on Sunday that when he came back down from the rock formation he became lost, and he went back to the rocks then down another direction. Bullock reported hearing a search helicopter on Friday, but could not get to a location to be seen. Sunday morning he came to a point where he could see the lake, allowing him to hike down to it. Bullock survived on stream water and built a shelter to keep himself warm at night. He was reunited with his family at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, where he was taken for evaluation.
The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office says searchers will continue to look for a missing paddle boarder until he is found, but believe it is highly unlikely he has survived. Andres Pombo of Florida was reported as missing on Frida afternoon, when he fell off his paddle board in Viento State Park area while practicing for a weekend race. A kiteboarder saw Pombo fall into the water in very strong swells but quickly lost sight of him. Several other paddle boarders were on the scene within minutes but were unable to find him. Searchers from the Sheriff’s Office and several other regional agencies spent the weekend looking for Pombo. Members of Pombo’s family are arriving in the area. The Sheriff’s Office reports Pombo was not wearing a personal flotation device or a lanyard while on his paddle board. Authorities urge everyone on the river to use a floatation device as required by law and other available safety equipment when using the river for recreation. The Columbia River current is stronger than most people believe and strong winds increase danger when you go into the water.
Searchers are looking for a 75-year-old man from The Dalles who became lost Thursday while hiking in the Laurance Lake area in the Upper Hood River Valley. Hood River County Sheriff Matt English says David Bullock was last seen shortly before noon on Thursday when he dropped his gear with his wife and went to check on something he had seen. His wife called the Sheriff’s Office at about 4 p.m. Thursday, and a search team could not find him before dark. English says four ground teams, a military helicopter, and additional aircraft are involved in the search today, with more regional search teams set to arrive as the day goes on. Plans are being made to continue the search tomorrow if necessary. English describes Bullock as an experienced hiker in good shape, but was dressed only in a t-shirt and shorts and had left his supplies with his wife.
Mop-up work is underway on a fire that burned 95 acres outside of Tygh Valley late Thursday afternoon. David Jacobs of the Oregon Department of Forestry The Dalles Unit says crews got a line around the fire late last night, assisted by air drops, and it is 100 percent contained. Much of the fire burned in grass, but about 20 to 30 acres was in scrub oak and brush, and Jacobs says that is where the mop-up work is taking place. There were eight engines with a 20-person crew on the scene to do the mop-up work. Jacobs says the fire was human-caused, but did not elaborate further. ODF, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Wamic, Tygh Valley, and Juniper Flat crews took part in the firefighting effort.
The Cougar Creek Fire north of Glenwood grew by 700 acres on Thursday to 24,600, and remains at 20 percent containment. Strong winds have move through the fire area for the last two days. Crews held established control lines along the south and east flanks of the fire. There has been minimal spotting due to the wind, and crews were able to hold the fire within its perimeter. Burnout operations assisted in securing fire line around the fire contributing to the increase in reported fire size. Winds helped firefighters on the northeast flank of the fire by pushing the fire back toward the interior. Gusty winds increased fire activity on the west flank of the fire. Crews were successful in completing line construction to Hellroaring Creek on the northwest portion of the fire line. A National Weather Service Red Flag Warning remains in effect until Friday at 11:00 p.m. Residents of Glenwood north of Ladiges Road remain under a Level 1 evacuation advisory from the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office, advising residents to be alert of the fire’s activity.
Containment of the County Line 2 Fire on the Warm Springs Reservation is up to 55 percent. That fire has burned 64,450 acres. Fire managers report strong wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour are making holding containment lines difficult. Red Flag Warning conditions are expected to persist through Friday night. The cause of the fire reported ten days ago remains under investigation. Containment is projected for Wednesday.
The North Central Public Health District says a pertussis outbreak in Wasco County is over, but with a new school year about to begin it’s important to take steps to stop the spread of the disease. There were a total of 29 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, reported to health district officials during the outbreak. The district says up to date immunizations are the most important thing people can do to stop pertussis. T-dap vaccine is available from physicians and pharmacies. Also, stay away from infants, pregnant women, and those with a weakened immune system if you are not feeling 100 percent healthy, especially if you suspect you may have pertussis.
As area pear growers begin one of their earliest harvests on record next week, the Port of Hood River will delay planned deck welding maintenance work on the Hood River Interstate Bridge to accommodate hauling needs. The Port is cancelling single lane closures that were planned for next week. There will be brief closures of toll house lanes early next Friday (August 28) between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. for equipment inspections that cannot be rescheduled. Flaggers will be on site to direct traffic through the toll lanes, minimal delays are expected. Maintenance welding on the bridge deck is done annually, usually in August. The work must be performed during dry weather, so the Port will reschedule lane closures in September.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has restricted boat access at the The Dalles Dam downstream navigation approach channel to lock users only. The Dalles Lock and Dam operations manager Ron Twiner says the restriction was necessary to ensure public safety due to the river current and the lock’s proximity to the dam. Its purpose is to keep as much distance as possible between river traffic and small boats near the lock’s approach, which is a constrained area. In addition to the danger of collision, large vessels can displace water and currents can rapidly change as the navigation lock cycles water through the structure, causing another potentially dangerous condition.
Wasco County Commissioners are planning to hold public hearings to learn if County residents want to vote to opt-out of legalizing recreational marijuana. Under provisions adopted by the Oregon Legislature, cities and counties are eligible to opt out of Measure 91. Those cities and counties where voters said no by a margin of at least 55 percent in the November 2014 election can opt out by its governing body simply adopting an ordinance, but Wasco County’s disapproval rate was only 52 percent, so such a move would have to be placed on November 2016 ballot. Commissioner Scott Hege said most of the concerns Wasco County officials have received revolve around the production of marijuana rather than retail outlets. Hege noted smell, water, fire, and security concerns have all been brought up. One hearing is planned for mid-September during a scheduled town hall in Dufur. In other business, Hege and fellow Commissioner Steve Kramer swapped committee assignments, with Hege moving to the North Central Public Health District board and Kramer to the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments panel.