House Fire North of Redmond

Evacuation Orders for Neighbors Lifted

On Tuesday afternoon a structure fire north of Redmond was reported in the 2500 block of NW Rimrock Lane. A house had caught fire and the embers ignited brush near the home and threatened neighboring properties. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office called for an evacuation of neighbors but the orders were lifted only a few hours later thanks to the work of numerous local fire crews who got the blaze under control.

So far no injuries have been reported but the residence that caught fire is a complete loss, no other properties were damaged.

National Guard Trained for Fire Fighting Efforts

In the wake of fires burning throughout Oregon, Governor Kate Brown invoked the emergency conflagration act, authorizing the State Fire Marshal to mobilize resources to assist local resources battling the fire.

With those resources running slim, the Oregon National Guard has stepped in and trained over 400 citizen-soldiers and citizen-airmen to serve as wildland firefighters.

Central Oregon Daily’s Warren Shultz has the story.

14th Street Construction Impacts Local Businesses

Phase One of the 14th Street Reconstruction Project has had the area between the Simpson roundabout to Albany Avenue under construction for months. During construction there have been multiple detours that have allowed customers to continue to be able to access the commercial area.

However, even with the detours and new routes, it’s businesses that have felt the effects of the construction in the area. Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan spoke to some businesses owners to see how they’re fairing as construction enters phase two.

Source on the Scene: Deschutes County Fair

Join Central Oregon Daily’s Allison Roecker as she experiences the Deschutes County Fair for the first time. She’ll ride rides, pet adorable animals and, of course, try some fried fair food!
 

For all the latest arts and culture listings, pickup the latest issue of The Source Weekly or go to their website at www.bendsource.com.

Thanks to our Source on the Scene sponsor, Indian Head Casino, for giving us the time and resources to show you some of the best events and entertainment that our region has to offer, every Friday night on Central Oregon Daily.

Running for a Cause

Redmond Runner Plans 200 Mile Run to Raise Awareness for His Wife

The annual two-day Cascade Lakes Relay gets underway officially tomorrow, but two runners are already on the course. They’re planning to run more than 200 miles solo, instead of with a team.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan meets one of those runners, a Redmond man who is taking on the challenge to raise awareness of his wife’s chronic debilitating illness.

South Valley Fire

Residents in Dufur Threatened by Third Fire in Three Weeks

About 150 firefighters from around the state, as well as 150 local personnel, have responded to the rapidly growing South Valley Fire, which grew to more than 15,000 acres overnight. Crews worked overnight to build a fire line, and the fire is reported to be about five percent contained.

The Fire Marshal’s Office says at least 400 people are under the level 3 evacuation orders and at least 80 to 100 homes are threatened.

The Oregon Department of Transportation closed Highway 197 from milepost 14 to milepost 34 overnight while firefighters worked to control the flames. The highway has been re-opened in both directions and ODOT crews will continue to monitor fire activity in the area.

Officials say the fire is fueled by ponderosa pine, oak and wheat. Those dry fuels and steady winds over 45 miles per hour pushed the fire southeast.

The fire marshal’s office is currently investigating the fire as human-caused.

No Charges Filed in Officer Involved Shooting

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel announced Wednesday that he has officially closed his investigation on an officer involved shooting that took place in June. Hummel said he concluded that the officer’s decision to shoot Bend resident Timothy Bret Bontrager was legally justified.

The incident took place on June 26th around 11:30 p.m. when Bend Police officer Timothy Williams conducted a traffic stop on highway 97 and Cooley Road. Williams pulled over 36-year-old Bontrager for failure to use his turn signal. Bontrager pulled over into the driveway of the Lowe’s Home Improvement store.

Officer Williams approached the driver’s side of Bontrager’s vehicle. After he asked for Bontrager’s license and registration Williams suspected that Bontrager was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Williams said that Bontrager exhibited slow, deliberate speech and glassy, bloodshot eyes. Williams also noted that there were two opened 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor in Bontrager’s vehicle.

Officer Williams called for backup and Bend Police officer Kevin Uballez arrived on the scene. Williams approached the driver’s side door to ask Bontrager to perform a field sobriety test, which Bontrager refused.

Officer Williams informed officer Uballez that he would read Bontrager his ROHRS, shorthand for what a police officer can say to a suspected impaired driver who has refused an initial request to perform field sobriety tests. Williams also notified officer Uballez that if Bontrager continued to refuse to cooperate, officer Williams would arrest him.

Both officers approached the vehicle once again, Uballez on the passenger side as a cover position, while Williams began reading the ROHRS to Bontrager, stating that he was being asked to perform physical tests and his refusal to perform them could be used against him in court. Immediately after officer Williams asked Bontrager if he understood, Bontrager turned away from Williams, yelled, ‘here’s my proof of insurance!’ and reached for the glove compartment. This, Hummel said, is when the shooting began.

According to Hummel Uballez, who was standing on the passenger side of the car, saw Bontrager pull a gun from the glove box.

“Uballez yells ‘Gun! Gun!’ so Williams knows what’s happening,” said Hummel during his Wednesday press conference. “Immediately Bontrager put the gun to his head, pulled the trigger.”

Williams, thinking Bontrager was shooting at him or Uballez, fired seven shots into the car, striking Bontrager twice.

Williams then radioed that shots had been fired and both officers then checked on Bontrager, who was deceased.

Officer Williams had begun an audio recording once he realized Bontrager’s stop could become a DUI investigation. That recording, including the audio of the shooting, was played during Wednesday’s press conference.

The Oregon State Medical Examiner determined that the cause of death was a perforating contact handgun shot to the head and that neither of the two rounds Williams shot into the vehicle was fatal.

Swift Water Rescue

Residents and tourists alike are beating the heat this summer by hitting the many rivers and lakes that Central Oregon has to offer. While a river float is a great way to cool off this summer, it does come with potential hazards. The increased traffic on local rivers is why Bend Fire and Rescue holds swift water rescue trainings several times throughout the year beginning in early spring and continuing throughout the summer.

The 14-member rescue team specializes in class three, four and five whitewater, which include rapids and strong currents that make it more difficult for people to self-rescue. The team runs four to five practice sessions a year to prepare for any potential rescue situations.

Mike Baxter of Bend Fire Rescue said that whole summers have passed where no rescues are necessary but between Bend Fire and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s search and rescue team they’ve already performed between 3 and 5 assists across Central Oregon this year.

Just last week the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and Bend Fire Department pulled a 13-year-old boy to safety at Lava Island Falls after the teenager became stranded on a rocky island in the middle of the Deschutes River south of bend and was surrounded by class five whitewater rapids.

When initiating a rescue the team will begin with the lowest risk option for both the rescuer and the victim. So each year they practice several different rescue techniques. One technique, which was used to rescue the teenage last week, involves a tether system and a raft. Another, which was tested out during Tuesday’s training on Central Oregon Daily’s own Anyssa Bohanan, involves a 75 foot long rope and a member of the rescue team.

Anyssa can attest that should the worst happen and you do need rescuing, you’re in solid hands. However, the best way to stay safe and have a good time is to be prepared and be aware.

OSU-Cascades Expands Bend Bike Share

OSU-Cascades, with sponsors Selco Community Credit Union and 10 Barrel Brewing, opened a new bike stop in Bend Monday for its bike share program. The program now boasts 8 stops in downtown, westside Bend, the Mill District and around the OSU-Cascade campus with 55 bikes available. OSU hopes to expand the bike share program throughout Bend through the next year, even adding dockless bikes that would allow users to park bike at anywhere in Bend.

Source on the Scene: Balloons Over Bend

A Central Oregon summer staple returns. Central Oregon Daily’s Allison Roecker joined us live from River Bend Park where tonight’s festivities are just kicking off. She also gives us a look at what it’s like to fly over Bend in one of the giant balloons featured in this year’s festival.

For all the latest arts and culture listings, pickup the latest issue of The Source Weekly or go to their website at www.bendsource.com.

Thanks to our Source on the Scene sponsor, Indian Head Casino, for giving us the time and resources to show you some of the best events and entertainment that our region has to offer, every Friday night on Central Oregon Daily.