Fire Training ; Whale Watch; Grief Classes; Snowy Plover Additional Info; Gas Prices

Fire Training

A “live fire” training exercise Saturday morning for local firefighters will require a restriction on North Fork Siuslaw Road between milepost 8.6 and 9.8.  Travel will be down to just one lane in that area beginning at 9 AM as firefighters with Western Lane Fire and EMS Authority conduct a “burn to learn”.  The restriction is due to the fact that crews will have to stage their apparatus and engines on the roadway.  The training exercise and lane restrictions will continue all day Saturday and could continue after dusk.

Whale Watch

Spring break is coming for Oregon students.  That’s just in time for the annual northward migration of gray whales off the Oregon Coast.  Trained volunteers will be stationed at 17 sites along Highway 101 between March 28th and April 2nd to help spring breakers spot some of the estimated 18-thousand whales headed back to Alaska after wintering in the warm waters off Baja California.  Park Ranger Peter McBride says dress warm, take your binoculars, and watch for the signs that say “whale watching spoken here”.  Three of the 17 official sites are on the Central Coast:  at the Cape Perpetua Turnout, Heceta Lighthouse State Park, and at Umpqua Lighthouse.  McBride says any high point with a good view of the horizon will do.  But, he adds, pay attention to fenced off areas, stay away from hazards, and be aware of the tides.

Grief Classes

Beginning April 6th and continuing through May 25th Peace Harbor Hospice will be providing grief education and support with eight free Journey Through Grief classes.  The classes will be thrusdays from 2 to 4 pm and will take place at Lane Community College.  They will be held by a trained bereavement councilor and will be confidential.  It is open to all community members that have experienced the death of someone. For more information or to register call Peace Harbor Hospice 997-3418.

Snowy Plover Additional Info

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the U.S. Forest Service remind visitors to the Oregon coast that it is plover nesting season — visitors can help recovery efforts for the threatened western snowy plover by sharing the beaches Mar. 15 to Sept. 15. Sensitive plover nesting areas will be roped off or identified by signs with rules and limits, such as staying on the wet sand, to help protect the small shorebirds and their exposed nests during this crucial period. Plover beaches remain open to foot and equestrian traffic below the high-tide line on wet, packed sand throughout the nesting season. This ensures that plover nests, eggs and chicks are kept safe.   All other recreation on plover beaches is prohibited on both wet and dry sand, including walking a dog (even on a leash), driving a vehicle, riding a bicycle, camping, burning wood and flying kites or operating drones.

Gas Prices

Gas prices continue to be on the rise despite an unsteady crude oil price. However, Oregon has been steady over the past week with prices holding firm.  A regular gallon of gas in Oregon stayed at $3.90 a gallon with local prices holding for the second week at $3.35.  Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon says prices will go up as all states will eventually switch to the summer blend fuels.  Deadline for switching is May 1st.