Fire crews responded to a fire yesterday afternoon west of Goldendale. The Hill Road Fire was burning slowly in alfalfa and a perimeter was quickly set up. The fire was controlled by 6 last evening. It burned 2 acres or less. The cause is unknown at this time.
A forest fire erupted yesterday afternoon about 4 to 5 miles up Neal Creek Road and 4-5 miles from Highway 35. The Oregon Department of Forestry reports as of 4am, it had burned about 20 acres. Resources on the scene include 10 fire engines from ODF, BLM and the Forest Service and additional engines from local fire departments. Also on the scene is a bulldozer, 2 single engine air tankers, 1 helicopter and 3 heavy air tankers. Crews worked through the night to try to stop the spread of the fire as more additional resources were arriving through the night. An additional three hand crews and other overhead will staff the fire beginning at 6 this morning. The cause is still under investigation.
A forest fire has been reported in the Neal Creek Road area in Hood River County, reportedly 4 to 5 miles up Neal Creek Road and 4-5 miles from Highway 35. It is rapidly heading to the Southeast. As of 5:45, the size is reported at 5-7 acres. The Oregon Department of Forestry first asked for help at 4:15 this afternoon. The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office is asking everyone to stay out of the area. Some roadblocks have been set up, and there is also air support in the area.
A small plane crashed at the Dallesport Regional Airport Monday morning, sending the pilot to the hospital. The crash occurred around 11 Monday morning. A witness said as the plane was approaching to land, a wing appeared to dip and strike the ground. The plane hit the runway and slid into a taxi way. Debris was scattered in the runway and the taxi way. The crew of a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter parked at the airport provided emergency medical care until an ambulance crew from the Dallesport Fire Department arrived. The pilot was transported by medical helicopter with injuries. Airport crews cleaned up a small amount of fuel spilled from the plane. There was no fire. The condition of the pilot is unknown at this time.
Pat Ashmore will be sworn as the new police chief for The Dalles on Monday morning. Ashmore had been the Deputy Superintendent of the Oregon State Police in Salem, and is a native of The Dalles. He spent nearly 30 years with the OSP. Ashmore is taking over for Jay Waterbury, who is retired this summer after 42 years with The Dalles Police Department, including twenty as its Chief. The ceremony will be at 9 a.m. Monday in The Dalles City Hall.
There has been a change in how Oregon families can receive referrals for child care services. Columbia Gorge Community College Child Care Partners had handle that service in the Mid-Columbia, but it is moving to the 2-1-1 information line. Nancy Patten of Child Care Partners says the new service will be exactly like what Child Care Partners had done in the past. The 2-1-1 service will be available weekdays from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and weekends from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Northwest Mothers Milk Bank and Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital are hosting the Great Northwest Milk Drive to spotlight the importance of human donor milk for pre-term infants and to increase the number of milk donors in Hood River. Providence lactation consultant Jennifer McCauley says the goal is to screen and approve five new donors and collect 1,500 ounces of human donor milk. An event to help move toward that goal is scheduled for Providence on Saturday, August 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. McCauley says a potential donor will have a blood draw done and go through a written screening process. More information on becoming a milk donor is available by calling the Northwest Mothers Milk Bank at 800-204-4444.
Street work will be starting Monday in The Dalles as City and Wasco County Public Works crews work together to chip seal several street surfaces. Work Monday will take place on Washington Street from 3rd to 4th, Cherry Heights Road from 2nd to 6th, and Walnut Street from 6th to 10th. Tuesday crews will be on Snipes Street from 6th to 9th, West 7th from Snipes to Hostetler, West 13th from Cherry Heights to Verdant, and River Road. A final top coat application of oil will be applied on Wednesday to the three street sections chip sealed on Monday. A chip seal project moves quickly, but short delays are to be expected as the application progresses. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes if possible during these construction times.
Firefighters Wednesday afternoon battled a five-acre brush fire east of The Dalles above Interstate 84 at exit 87 east of The Dalles near Highway 30 and Interstate 84 east of the Amerities railroad tie plant. Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue Chief Bob Palmer said the head of the fire to the east was put out quickly, but dealing with the fire backing through heavy brush took time. Resources from MCFR, Dallesport, Oregon Department of Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, and Hood River were at the scene. The fire call came in just after 12:20 p.m. A spot fire did go up the hill towards Columbia View Heights, but was put out. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
Hood River Fire Chief Devon Wells is stepping down from his position effective September 2 to pursue other opportunities. Wells says he has had a wonderful career with the City, and has enjoyed being chief, but felt the time was right to move to other challenges. Wells plans to pursue consulting and teaching opportunities in fire service and also do some family farming, but also plans to be a volunteer firefighter. City Manager Steve Wheeler said the City wished Wells the best in his new endeavors, adding no decision on filling the vacancy has been made.