Fire Danger; Grab and Go; Barred Owls on Hit List; Gas Prices

Coast Radio News
Local News

24 July 2013

Western Oregon Headed Into Tighter Fire Restrictions

Even as one local crew made it home from working on a southern Oregon fire, still more are on standby and officials are saying they’re stepping up fire restrictions in forested areas of Western Oregon.

A four-person engine company from Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue spent the weekend in Josephine County working on structure protection at the Pacifica Fire.  Chief John Buchanan said another crew was on standby yesterday, ready to head to the Gilchrist area and the Stagecoach Fire, but efforts to contain that blaze made headway, preventing the need for additional resources.

Federal authorities last night reopened a 40-mile stretch of the lower Deschutes River to rafting and camping.  That was after closing it earlier in the day due to concerns the Sunnyside Turnoff Fire on the nearby Warm Springs Indian Reservation would pose hazards.

Officials are implementing tighter fire restrictions on many areas in Western and Southern Oregon.

Barred Owls On Hit List

A last ditch effort to save the threatened Northern Spotted Owl has put the Barred Owl on a ‘hit list’.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to start dispatching hunters into select areas in Oregon, Washington and Northern California this fall.

The agency released a final environmental review this week of an experiment to see if killing more than 3-thousand barred owls in four study areas will help populations of the threatened spotted owl recover.

Barred owls are bigger and more aggressive than the spotted owl.  They’re less picky about food and forests and threaten the survival of their smaller cousins.

If the hunting plan works… and officials say they have studies showing it will… a regular program to reduce barred owl populations would be considered.

Gas Prices Rise… Except in Florence

Drivers in Colorado, Utah and Florence are paying less for gasoline this week than they did last week.

According to Triple-A prices for gasoline increased just about everywhere else.  The national average increased by three cents this week to $3.67 while the Oregon average went up a similar amount and is at $3.90 a gallon.

In Florence however, the average price dipped by three cents a gallon and matches the national average of $3.67.

That’s the lowest average since early May, but nearly 30-cents a gallon higher than it was this time last year.

Get Ready

For some, a “grab and go” bag might mean a burger and fries.

Joan Edwards with the West Lane Emergency Operations Group has a different thought on that topic.

She’s the outreach and education coordinator for WLEOG, the consortium of public and emergency response agencies that works on disaster prep and planning.

Edwards will offer two ‘drop-in’ sessions tomorrow that will explain why you should have a “go-bag” and what should go in it.

Spoiler alert:  Edwards said a well equipped “grab and go” has a small amount of emergency food and water, along with other essential things you may need… like prescriptions.  It’s called a “grab and go” or “go-bag” because that’s how it functions… it’s always ready and nearby.

Tomorrow’s drop in sessions at the main fire station are free… no registration is needed.  The first is from 12:15 to 1:15… the other from 6:15 to 7:15.