Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue crews today dealt with a 12-to-15 acre grass fire west of The Dalles between Highway 30 and Interstate 84 near Pinewood Mobile Manor. According to MCFR, crews are into a mop-up phase with the fire still burning in hot spots and parts of some railroad ties are smoldering. The fire did jump to the north side of the freeway, so firefighters were working both east and westbound sides of I-84. Highway 30 is closed through the fire area at this time and railroad traffic is stopped, however Interstate 84 is open in both directions. Motorists should be aware that there is fire apparatus on the side of Interstate 84. The fire call came in at about 10:30 a.m. Dallesport, Hood River, Oregon Department of Forestry, and U.S. Forest Service crews along with Klickitat County EMS were all assisting MCFR crews.
A St. Helens man has shot and seriously wounded himself after a police pursuit on Interstate 84 through Hood River. Hood River County Sheriff Matt English said late Monday night in a statement that law enforcement officers were looking for Jerome Matilton after a reported domestic violence incident in The Dalles. A short, high-speed chase on westbound I-84 followed an Oregon State Police officer’s attempt to stop the car at Exit 62. English says when pursuing units stopped the vehicle, officers heard a gunshot and then found Matilton with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Matilton was taken by LifeFlight to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, where English reported he was in “grave condition.” The sheriff says no shots were fired by officers. According to witnesses Matilton was armed and reportedly had made threats toward law enforcement if they tried to stop him.
Photo courtesy Hood River County Sheriff’s Office
Chipping away at a childhood obesity rate of one out of three children in Wasco County is the goal of the recently formed Coalition To End Childhood Obesity. Over 20 different public and private organizations have signed on to help promote healthier habits for young people. Mimi McDonnel of the North Central Public Health District says one of their initial efforts will be to promote a “5-2-1-0″ message. That stands for five servings of fruits or vegetables per day, no more than two hours of screen time a day, one hour of physical activity per day, and no sugar sweetened beverages. McDonnel says it is a simple message they will be taking to schools, day cares, and clinics around the County. She adds they are trying to find ways to make commuting by walking or bicycling easier to do in The Dalles.
A number of wildfires have been burning on Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands, including a couple in north-central Oregon. The 21-acre Smith Hollow Fire is burning in grass and brush near Fossil but is 100 percent lined. Cause is under investigation. The 700-acre lightning-caused Harper Complex Fire is burning in timber, brush and grass about 8 miles southwest of John Day. Approximately 10 residents are threatened. A local Type 3 Team has been assigned to the Harper Complex. And the Sugar Loaf Fire was reported is burning in grass and timber in central Oregon on BLM land 9 miles north of Dayville. One outbuilding has been destroyed and 12 residences are threatened. Fire size is estimated at 4,095 acres.
As the end of the Oregon Legislative session nears, the fate of a diverse set of tax credits may be the biggest issue that remains to be resolved. House and Senate Democrats are struggling to reconcile proposals blending the tax credits, which without a deal would expire on January 1 of next year, with some revenue increases that would target corporations. Republican 29th District Senator Bill Hansell says his party isn’t happy with plans to consider the credits and increases in one package, rather than separately. Republican legislators argue the package is an attempt to skirt the three-fifths supermajority requirement for passage of revenue bills.
Saturday: The Dalles 10, John Day River 0
Hood River 12, Redmond 2
Sunday: Bend North 8, The Dalles 2
Saturday: Bend North 25, Hood River Valley 0
Sunday: Hood River Valley def. Warm Springs
Bend North 23, The Dalles 1
Monday: Hood River Valley 13, The Dalles 3
Saturday: The Dalles 11, South Central 1
Monday: Bend South 7, The Dalles 6
Hood River Valley sweeps Warm Springs in best-of-three series for the championship
Saturday: Hood River Valley 11, Warm Springs 8
Sunday: Hood River Valley 12, Warm Springs 2
Local health officials are reminding people to stay cool and stay hydrated with the current hot temperatures. They are advising people to find air-conditioned shelter, avoid direct sunlight, wear lightweight light-colored clothing, take cool showers or baths, and do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device. Drink more water than usual, don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink more fluids, avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar, and remind others to drink enough water. Excessive heat causes more deaths than all other weather related events in the country, and heat-related illness can affect anyone at any age.
Both the Mount Hood and Gifford Pinchot National Forests are increasing fire warnings with the arrival of extreme heat in the region. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level is being moved from Level I to Level II in both forests. For the general public that means chainsaw use is prohibited between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., and operators are required to keep a one-hour fire watch after any cutting. Fire danger is considered high throughout the Mount Hood forest and moderate in the Gifford Pinchot. As the summer season progresses with continuing warm dry weather, the public is encouraged to be careful with campfires in national forests. Anyone tending a campfire is required to have a shovel and plenty of water on hand. Before leaving a campfire unattended, the fire should be drowned with water, stirred, and be cold to the touch.
Hood River Fire and EMS is offering the community room and public access areas at its headquarters on 1785 Meyer Parkway as a cooling station during this period of hot temperatures. Fire Chief Devon Wells says they have plenty of seating, air conditioning, wireless internet, and drinking fountains with special bottle fillers to refill water bottles. If you don’t have a water bottle, there will be some available there. The Hood River County Library is also open during regular business hours for use as a cooling station, and there are drinking fountains available at the new City restroom facility on State Street.
With the Fourth of July holiday just a week away, fire officials are reminding people once again to be safe if they choose to use fireworks. Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue Chief Bob Palmer says people need to make sure the fireworks are legal and used in a proper location, away from dry grass or any vegetation that could readily burn. Oregon law prohibits any firework that explodes, flies into the air, or travels more than six feet on the ground or 12 inches into the air. People who start a fire with illegal fireworks, or use legal fireworks in a negligent manner, are liable for the cost of extinguishing the fire. Palmer also reminds parents to supervise their children when they use fireworks.