The Hood River Transfer Station is closed today after a large loader struck a support beam of the three-sided cover over the station’s pad on Monday afternoon, compromising the integrity of the structure. Hood River Garbage District Manager Jim Winterbottom says until an engineer can evaluate the damage, they have to remain closed to the public. He hopes to have an engineer’s estimate by the end of the day and be able to open the station in some capacity Wednesday, but stressed that has yet to be determined. Because garbage trucks are having to go straight to the Wasco County Landfill rather than the Hood River station, Winterbottom says curbside pickups may be running late today.
Mop up work continues today on a 15-acre fire that broke out Monday afternoon on Hartland Road in the High Prairie area. High Prairie Fire Chief Tim Darland says efforts to control the fire went as well as they could have, as High Prairie, Lyle, Centerville and Rural 7 District firefighters were joined by the ZigZag Hotshots crew, and the Washington Department of Natural Resources, along with aerial resources to get the fire contained at around 10 p.m. DNR will have one overhead and a strike team of engines, a ten person hand crew, and a tender from High Prairie Fire to continue to mop up work. People are asked to stay out of the area of Hartland Road as there will be several personnel and fire apparatus taking up much of the road. Darland says the blaze started when a van caught fire.
Officials have revised the size of the Dry Creek Fire downward, but full containment is a long way off. The fire was listed early this morning at 322 acres, and the containment level edged up to 15 percent, but the estimated full containment date is not until July 24. The fire continues to back down into drainages and make short uphill runs, if material rolls down hill. Night operations were to hold and patrol completed line. The fire is expected continue to move northwest, and west, in the timbered drainages. The fire is mostly wind and terrain driven at this time. Highway 141 remained closed from BZ Corner north to Warner Road, with a detour from BZ Corner through Glenwood to Trout Lake. Residents located along Highway 141 north of Meyers Road and south of Pine Flats Road remain on a Level 1 evacuation notice to be ready to leave if necessary.
Officials say the Dry Creek Fire grew by only 50 acres during the last 24 hours as winds were less active at the fire location. The fire is now estimated at about 400 acres, mainly west of Highway 141 with only minimal spotting on the east side. Fire officials say today’s operations will focus on checking the progression of the fire in all directions, building new and securing existing fire lines, reinforcing fire anchors, and scouting existing roads. All of the fire perimeter east of Highway 141 is 100 percent mopped up. Hot and dry conditions will continue through the next few days, though temperatures are expected to be cooler and less windy than yesterday. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid 70’s, with relative humidity of 30 to 35 percent and winds of 10 miles per hour gusting to 25. Highway 141 remains closed from BZ Corner north to Trout Lake, with a detour via the BZ Glenwood Highway. Residents located along Highway 141 north of Meyers Road and south of Pine Flats Road received door-to-door notifications yesterday that the county has issued a Level 1 evacuation notice for this area. A Level 1 notice gives residents advance notice that a fire is burning in the area.
The Indian Creek Fire continues to smolder on the cliffs west of Eagle Creek Trail #440, and a trail closure in that area continues. Mt. Hood National Forest officials say the fire that started last Tuesday afternoon did not increase in size over the weekend and remains at an approximate seven acres. Firefighters continue to monitor the fire and a helicopter continues to drop water on the fire as needed. Due to the steepness of the terrain where the fire is burning, firefighters cannot directly engage with the fire. The fire is expected to continue to burn for the foreseeable future. Cause of the fire has not yet been determined. The trail and area closure includes Eagle Creek Trail #440, from the boundary with the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness to the north to its terminus at the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail. This means that Punch Bowl Falls and High Bridge are still open, but Tunnel Falls is closed. The closure includes adjacent trails Eagle Benson #434, Indian Springs Trail #435, Eagle Tanner Trail #433 and Tanner Butte Trail, south of Tanner Butte. Signs are posted informing visitors that these trails are closed. The nearby Pacific Crest Trail remains open.
The Oregon Legislature’s Joint Committee on Ways and Means awarded $500,000 for construction of a proposed Mosier Civic Center before the legislature adjourned last week. The City/Fire District joint-use facility is still in the feasibility stage, with a final feasibility report due at the end of August, then the Mosier City Council and the Mosier Fire District Board will finalize their process on whether or how to develop the Center. The Civic Center has a projected total budget of between $2.5 million to $4 million. The Mosier Civic Center would be a joint use facility, encompassing a City Hall, main fire station for the Mosier Fire District, and multi-purpose assembly rooms.
Starting Wednesday and continuing through Friday, Underground Specialties will be paving along River Road in The Dalles between Crates Way and River Trail Way. Traffic will be down to one lane between 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. all three days, and motorists should expect delays. Motorists are asked to observe all traffic control measures.
Hood River County Administrator Jeff Hecksel expects staff to bring County Commissioners some options for revenue generation in late summer or early fall. Hecksel says his staff is focusing on two possibilities requested by the Commission: a targeted sales tax and a public safety district to fund law enforcement operations. Hecksel notes there are a number of different limited sales tax in existence in Oregon, noting Ashland has a food and beverage tax and Multnomah County taxes rental car purchases. County officials have been concerned about the viability of the County budget after using one million dollars of reserves to balance the new fiscal year’s budget. Hecksel notes the County would like to do something where visitors to the area help pay for the services they use.
A group of businesses and the Port of The Dalles is working on an internship program they are looking to launch next summer. Port of The Dalles Executive Director Andrea Klaas says they had heard from businesses about their need for trained employees and a willingness to do the training, and that sparked the idea. Klaas says the program, called GorgeWorks and would be Gorge-wide, is currently planning to work with five to seven businesses that will offer a similar type of job so high school graduates 18 years or older will be able to apply for an internship in the program. The program aims to begin in the summer of 2018.
Oregon District 5 Little League Baseball Tournament at Redmond
The Dalles 15, Bend North 14: The Dalles scored five runs in the sixth inning to pull out the victory and take the title. The Dalles advances to the state tournament beginning this Saturday in LaGrande.
10 and under Championship
The Dalles 9, Bend North 5: The Dalles moves on to the state tournament beginning on July 22 in Portland.