Bend Firefighters Return from Wildfires in the California Wine Country

The estimates on the numbers of homes and buildings destroyed in the Wine Country wildfires has now topped 8,400, and with 42 people killed, the fires are also the deadliest in California history. Strike teams from Central Oregon traveled to places like Santa Rosa and Napa to battle those fires two weeks ago, but tonight, they are back home.

Central Oregon Daily’s Allison Roecker spent time with two of the Bend firefighters who became eyewitnesses to the devastation.

Bend Firefighters Battling Wildfires in Wine Country

City of Bend firefighters are back on the front line of the wildfires burning in California’s wine country.

A Bend Fire and Rescue engine and crew of 6 joined ten other Strike Teams from Oregon to head to California on Wednesday morning and worked a 24-hour shift before taking a day off, and they are back at it today. Here is one of the latest photos of their efforts, courtesy of the Bend Fire Department.

Northern California Residents Fail to Receive Emergency Alerts Ahead of Fires

Some of the survivors in Santa Rosa and other areas that were devastated by the fast-moving flames, are telling authorities that they never received an alert on their cell phones or landlines before being forced to flee their homes just minutes ahead of the fires.

Authorities have acknowledged that some residents didn’t receive the alerts, and in Sonoma County, authorities chose not to send out a mass alert because only a portion of residents were affected.

Central Oregon Daily’s Austin Reed looks at the emergency alerts that went out when the fires began.

Bend Woman Begins Local Donation Drive for Northern California Wildfire Victims

Central Oregonians with personal connections to Northern California are watching the fires closely, and some are still waiting to hear about the fate of their friends and family.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has the story of a Bend woman who is launching a local donation drive to help the victims of the California wildfires including her brother and sister.

***Any items you’d like to donate can be taken to the following address:

JR Faulkner Excavation
2669 NE Twin Knoll’s Dr. Suite #103
Bend, OR

Following are suggested donation items

Air Mattresses and cots…
Phone Chargers
Dry and Canned Pet Food (Dog, Cat, Kitten)
Animal crates and carriers small and large
Dog Bowls (Any bowls for food and water)
Can Openers
Other pet supplies (litter, bedding, leashes, collars)
Baby Strollers
Baby Carries
Personal Protection Equipment (Masks, latex gloves, etc.)
Duct Tape
Other items:
Non-perishable food items (that don’t need to be cooked)
Can Openers
Camp stoves
Personal hygiene products (toothbrushes, tooth paste, deodorant, baby wipes, soap, etc.)
Diapers in all sizes
Baby Food
New Socks
New Underwear
Toilet Paper
Feminine Hygiene Products
Band-Aids, Antibacterial Ointment, Etc.
Duffel Bags
Children’s books
Coloring Books
Coloring supplies

California Fires Force Bend Woman Back to Central Oregon

The wildfires that created the smoke in Central Oregon today is coming from Northern California where thousands of residents have evacuated their homes to escape more than dozen out-of-control wildfires.

Central Oregon Daily’s Lisa Carton spoke with a Bend woman today who owns a business in the fire zone and just left wine country to return to Central Oregon.

Pacific Crest Trail Closures Force Hikers to Take Alternative Route

This summer’s wildfires are also having an impact on some people who are trying to scratch a trip of a lifetime off their bucket lists and you may have noticed an increase in the number of hikers walking along Highway 97 in recent weeks.

Central Oregon Daily’s Tim Wehde noticed it too, and he went with Chris Biggs to talk to some of those hikers.

Lawmakers Call for Change to Forest Management on Federal Lands

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has lowered the evacuation levels in the areas affected by the Nash Fire. The Level Two evacuation levels for residents and campgrounds around Elk and Hosmer Lakes have been dropped to a Level One tonight. The Level One evacuation levels for the areas surrounding Lava Lake have been dropped altogether.

Meanwhile, in the Columbia River Gorge, ODOT crews continue to cut down trees that were damaged by the Eagle Creek Fire in an effort to reopen I-84, which remains closed tonight between Troutdale and Hood River. The 37,000 acre fire is now 17% contained, but the lasting effects on the Columbia River Gorge will be felt for years to come, with many trails expected to remain closed until next Spring.

As Central Oregon Daily’s Curtis Vogel reports, federal lawmakers are pointing to massive wildfires like the Eagle Creek Fire to call for change in the way we manage forests on federal lands.

Supper Club: Fire Management Policies

Wildfires have been top of mind across Oregon this summer. Although the Eagle Creek fire in the Columbia River Gorge was caused by fireworks, the majority are started by lightning and a bigger issue being debated among experts is whether there should be a wholesale change in our fire management policies. That’s the subject of this week’s Supper Club segment.

Thanks to Nicole, Deana and Chris for joining us and a special thanks to our Supper Club sponsor, Selco Community Credit Union, for giving us the time and resources to talk about the issues that impact our region every Tuesday night on Central Oregon Daily.