Fourth of July a busy one for firefighters
Firefighters and other emergency responders were quite busy over the holiday weekend… and particularly on the Fourth of July. That’s when they responded to seven different calls.
Two of those calls were especially concerning according to Assistant Chief Marvin Tipler with Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue.
One of those, at about 5:30 p.m. near Rhododendron Drive and Eden Lane was a fast moving grass fire that firefighters quickly subdued. Tipler said the wind driven fire consumed an area about 100 feet by 100 feet. But, with the high winds and dry conditions that day, it could have easily spread to nearby homes.
The other one that was particularly concerning was actually a series of fires along South Jetty Road.
The call came in at about 9:30 p.m. of a brush fire stretching along the roadway near the Siuslaw River.
Witnesses told authorities that it started when a pickup drove by shooting or throwing fireworks out the window into the vegetation.
No significant damage was reported in any of Monday’s calls, but the potential was there according to Tipler.
Drowning claims life of Eugene man
A Eugene man lost his life Saturday while swimming in the Siuslaw River near Mapleton.
According to the Oregon State Police 23-year old Duong T. Ngo and three other friends were swimming in the river near the Highway 126 bridge.
The man’s friends told a trooper they had been in the water about five minutes when they lost sight of him. Volunteers with the Mapleton Fire Department spent about 30-minutes searching for Ngo. Divers located him on the bottom near where he had disappeared.
Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful; he was taken to Peace Harbor Medical Center where he was declared dead.
Special Olympic Torch Relay
A group of several Coast Guard men and women ran through Florence on Highway 101 carrying the Oregon Special Olympics Torch. They were all members of the U.S. Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River. They were also part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Oregon Special Olympics. Petty Officer Sidnee Sansone (san-SO-nee) said they started yesterday’s run in Glenada.
Sidnee Sansone – “We picked it up from Coast Station Umpqua River and then we just ran from the south side of the Highway 101 bridge.”
Their part of the relay was 2 ½ miles, going as far as Fred Meyer. From there, they drove it to South Beach and delivered it to men and women from the Yaquina Bay station.
Sidnee Sansone – “I know it’s got a few more stops on its way up the coast.”
The torch run will go through Lincoln County before turning inland and making its way to the Oregon Special Olympics July 8th and 9th in Newberg.
Tunnel restoration gets funding boost
The Coos Bay Rail Link will pick up $11-million in the next 60-days that will be used to help pay for the renovation of 9-aging tunnels along an 82-mile long stretch of rail between Eugene and Coquille.
All of the tunnels are more than 100-years old and are in need to safety and structural repairs. Most of them are in Western Lane and Douglas Counties.
The condition of those tunnels were cited as the primary reason the line was shut down in 2007. The Port of Coos Bay purchased it two years later and has spent several years and millions of dollars to renovate line and rail bed. But, the tunnel repairs were out of reach financially.
But, U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio pushed the U.S. Department of Transportation to include the rail line in the department’s Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects program.