Baker Beach Fire
Heavy smoke filled the roadway on 101 north of town last night as crews battled a brush fire at Baker Beach. Just before 8p.m. on Monday evening Crews from Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue responded to a report of a fire that quickly grew due to heavy winds and dry conditions. The campgrounds at Baker Beach were evacuated as the fire spread. Oregon Department of Forestry also joined the firefighting efforts. Crews were able to contain the fire by midnight. Citizens reported smelling smoke for miles and caution signs were posted along 101 warning of low visibility due to smoke. Baker Beach is a popular hiking and trail riding destination.
Currently Western lane county is under an Industrial Fire Protection Level 3 which requires a partial shut down of logging and other industrial activities in the forest. SVFR is warning that the use of gas powered equipment is also dangerous and has the potential for starting fires from sparks and exhaust. The next two days will be critical as we get warmer and dryer conditions
H.E.O.P Looks at Land Availability
The city is looking at possibly revamping some of its housing regulations as it pertains to commercial building and affordable housing. Kelli Weese, city recorder for the city of Florence says today’s meeting of H.E.O.P. the Housing and Economic Opportunity Project will focus on evaluating and determining available properties and what needs to happen to accommodate affordable housing.
“Maybe we need to rezone some things, maybe we need to change some of our policies and processes at the City to help smooth things over for economic development and for providing for affordable housing.”
Weese says the city is aware of the need of workforce housing in Florence. FCS Consulting group has worked with communities up and down the coast to find solutions to affordable housing. She says the recommendations that they give will weigh heavy on the decisions that need to be made, but ultimately it will be the City of Florence that has to take the lead role in changing it’s policies. Today’s meeting is at the Florence Event Center at 2 pm and is open to the public.
Salmon Fishing Opens
Today is the opening day for salmon fishing on the Siuslaw river. It is usually a crazy morning at the docks on the east end of the boardwalk in Old town, but Jay Cable, owner of the Bridgeport Market and Wine Shop says it will be a little later start this morning. Due to a late high tide. But he explains a little about the traffic that will ultimately arrive.
“Normally we’ll have boats backed up clear up past the Event Center. They’ll be parked on all the side streets, they’ll be lined up clear around the corner waiting to get in to the boat launch.”
Cable says it can be a zoo atmosphere at times and he has even seen a few tempers flare as boaters struggle to get into the river. Even his patio fills up with onlookers who come just to watch the fishermen jockey for position.
“It’s a lot of fun just to watch the goings in and the comings out.”
Depending on weather this will be a normal occurrence for Florence for the coming months. So be aware of the traffic by the Port dock, and if you are planning a day on the river remember to pack your patience.