8-30 happy campHAPPY CAMP, Calif. — The Happy Camp Complex is exploding in size, growing from under 45,000 acres to 57,722 since Friday.

Nearly 2,000 firefighters continue to battle that blaze just outside of Happy Camp, CA. On Friday evening the Faulkstein fire saw significant activity, with shifting winds shooting embers from the main body of the fire. Structure protection crews have been brought in to assist in Happy Camp, Elk Creek, Seiad, Hamburg, Kelsey Creek, and Scott Bar — all of which are considered threatened.

Mandatory evacuations are in effect for Scott River Road from Bridge Flat to the intersection of Hwy 96. All areas south of Hwy 96 between Scott River Road down river to Cade Summit are also under mandatory evacuations. Advisories are in place for all areas north of Hwy 96 between Scott River Road and Grider Creek. An evacuation center has been set up at the Siskiyou County Fairgrounds.

Fire crews will also be implementing traffic controls along parts of Hwy 96 starting Saturday evening at 5:00.

Fires are expected to remain active throughout Saturday night, with rolling materials and tree torching creating a risk for spread. Fire officials will be holding two community meetings Saturday night — one at 6:00pm at the Seiad Fire Station and the other at 7:00pm at the Karuk Tribe Senior Nutrition Center.

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A cold front that passed through the region overnight is bringing in cooler air from the arctic region. This will allow for our temperatures to remain 5-10 degrees cooler throughout the day. A much welcome change from the heat throughout the week. We’ll only reach the 60′s in the mountains, 70′s in the Basin, and the lower to mid 80′s in the Valley and Northern California. In addition to the cooler air we will sit in increasing high pressure, so we will also see mostly sunny skies for a while. A few pop-up showers will move through the central and northern Oregon today, but our region will remain dry. Winds will once again, be a factor Saturday and Sunday in the afternoons. 10-15 mph sustained out of the west and northwest and gusts at times up to 25 mph.

Smoke is the next topic of discussion. Winds, lately have been coming out of the southwest and  pushing the smoke from the Happy Camp Complex into Northern Siskiyou County and parts of Southern Oregon. Today, winds will move to a west to east direction allowing for smoke to trickle further south in Siskyou County. So, expect areas like Weed, and Mount Shasta City to get a larger dose of smoke today. Areas closer to the fire, like Happy Camp, Etna,Fort Jones, etc. will still see smoke through the weekend. On Monday, upper level models are showing an abrupt shift in winds out of the north. This will temporarily move the smoke south, so Labor Day is looking much better as far as smoke goes.

Labor day will be very nice in all areas,  mostly sunny skies and temperatures down a bit. It will be a wonderful day to get outside and enjoy yourselves.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Meteorologist Seth Phillips

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Football Forecast:

Oregon Ducks vs. South Dakota Coyotes

Autzen Stadium: 7:30p.m. / Temperature at kickoff: 68 degrees / Winds: W 5-10 mph

OD_8-30Forecast: The residual effects of the cold front that passed overnight will bring in cloud coverage through the day. There will be enough moisture present for showers to develop in Central Oregon during the morning and early afternoon. Air at the surface will also be saturated, so rain that does fall will make it to the ground. Showers will be light and isolated. Showers will mostly dissipate in the early evening hours and by kickoff there may be a stray shower left in the region. Partly cloudy skies will continue for the rest of the game. Humidity will remain high and temperatures will stay mild.

Oregon State Beavers vs. Portland State Vikings

Reser Stadium: 1:00p.m. / Temperature at kickoff: 64 degrees / Winds: W 5-10 mph

OS_8-30Forecast: After the passage of the cold front last night, humid air is sticking around in the region. Enough moisture in the atmosphere will allow for late morning/early afternoon shower activity. Expect a round of light and isolated showers on and off in the area through these hours. Shower activity should diminish towards the end of the game. Temperatures will remain mild for the entire game.

Police Arrest Douglas County SuspectMEDFORD, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputies made an arrest Saturday morning after neighbors reported a man trying to ram his car into a house.

Neighbors on the 100 block of Vashti Way in Medford called for help from law enforcement. Deputies on the scene say the man got into an argument with his stepson and was using his car to try to run him over. The stepson reportedly ran away without getting seriously hurt. Deputies said a neighbor came out with a handgun and tried to shoot the man’s car tires. The man hit other cars and mailboxes in the chaos, but deputies eventually caught up to him.

Deputies said the man was charged with Attempted Assault II and Driving Under the Influence, along with several other charges.

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NEAR PROSPECT, Ore. — As most people head into a long labor day weekend, fire crews working away setting up a new camp and bringing in more personnel.

The fire is now nearly 2300 acres, and is burning forest land about half way between Crater Lake and Mt. McLoughlin.

The U.S. Forest Service says the growth has made it difficult for the resources they had on site, so they are in the process of upgrading from a type 3 to a type 2 incident management team.

‘This fire is located in some very steep terrain, a lot of rocky terrain, so that
adds to the safety risk of our fire fighters,” said Public Affairs Official Scott Blowers.

With no roads to drive, crews had to find different ways to get resources into the site, so pack mules move supplies toward the lines.

To get personnel to the tough locations, fire crews are relying on resources from the air.

“We do have 24 smoke jumpers out of the Redmond base and they jump out of airplanes and land inside of fires,” said Blowers.

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A cold front is poised to swing through the area by Saturday, dropping temperatures by about ten degrees and bringing some cloud cover with it.  The front will also help keep the smoke from the fires burning in Siskiyou County out of southern Oregon, which will allow for some blue sky to peek through over the course of the weekend.

Smoke is typically directed by the winds blowing at about 10,000 feet into the atmosphere.  The past few days, those winds have been blowing from the west southwest, sending smoke from the Happy Camp Complex into southern Jackson and Klamath Counties.  Behind the aforementioned cold front, those winds aloft will shift direction to the north northwest.  In doing this, the smoke will mainly be kept in northern California, with the exception of the fires burning in central Oregon.  When the winds have a stronger northerly component, it’s possible that the smoke from large fires near Bend could make its way down into southern Oregon.

So, for the last unofficial weekend of summer, expect mild temperatures, partly cloudy skies, and slightly warmer conditions by Labor Day.  Highs will be in the upper 80′s in the Rogue Valley and northern California, the lower 80′s in the Klamath Basin, and the lower 70′s along the coast and in the mountains.

For more information, or to send me your weather pictures, head over to Facebook or Twitter.

Chief Meteorologist Kate McKenna

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SHADY COVE, Ore. — There are still many places and ways to enjoy the three day weekend and warm weather, but some raft rental stores say they expect a lull this weekend. Owners of raft and paddleboard rental shops in shady cove say the big wave of customers has already passed. They say that’s not unusual.

Devon Stephenson with Rapid Pleasure Rentals in Shady Cove says, “It’s actually lower than like a July crowd because a lot of people have already done their traveling and having fun, and they’re gearing up for school, or they’ve spent their money or whatever, so it tends to not be as busy as what most people would think.”

The raft rental store owners say they’ve had steady business all summer long. They say the extra days of hot weather gave them an extra boost.

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LOST CREEK LAKE, Ore. – People living near the lake had a good view of planes skimming the water this week. That’s because Lost Creek Lake isn’t just being used as a vacation spot this Labor Day weekend, it’s also being used to help fight fires.

The planes scooping water from the lake this week are a new generation model sent by the National Interagency Fire Center stationed in Boise, Idaho. The fire center says they can pick up 1,600 gallons of water in 10 to 15 seconds. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) says the planes are dropping water on the 790 fire and the Deception Complex near Eugene, Oregon.

Guy Parker is a neighbor from Prospect who captured video of the planes as they skimmed the water.

“The neighborhood is pretty excited about it. Their shadow is probably within 50 feet of the airplane so you know they’re really close to the trees up here, and that’s, makes the excitement level a little bit higher too,” Parker said.

But some boaters out for the holiday weekend could be getting in the path set for the planes. One man said his family was camping Friday night through the weekend to Monday.

“Labor Day weekend, the kids go back to school, give us a little break. Actually want to see the planes grab the water and bring it to the fire so I can be a part of the history,” said Dewayne Carnell.

“It would be nice if the boaters were aware that the lake is being used, for firefighting purposes, and to stay aware. Keep an eye not only on the skiier behind you but on the sky above you ” Parker said.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s office will be restricting access to the northern part of the lake. People out this weekend must use the southern portion of the lake and stay away from the area being used for fire suppression. The Sheriff’s Office said the limited access at Lost Creek Lake is to ensure the safety of not only the boats and public using the lake, but also the air resources and pilots.

8-29 pot duiiMEDFORD, Ore. – Law enforcers around the state are getting ready for recreational marijuana on the ballot. But while the law could bring a lot of changes, local police say impaired driving likely wouldn’t be one of them.

Unlike alcohol, marijuana can’t be detected by an easy breathalyzer test. Police rely on standard impairment tests, as well as a group of specially trained officers called Drug Recognition Experts, or DRE’s.

Those officers receive extensive testing in how to use vital signs, pupil dilation, and other indicators to look for influence of drugs.

They say, while marijuana can impair drivers, it’s rarely consumed in high enough amounts by itself to result in a DUII.

“Some people can drink a pint of beer and they’ll be impaired. Some people can drink two to three pints of beer before they’re impaired. It’s the same thing with marijuana,” said Sergeant Don Lane, a Drug Recognition Expert with Medford Police.

Even drivers who admit to being high can continue driving if they pass an impairment test.

Police say it’s unlikely legalization of recreational marijuana would lead to more DUII’s. They say those who are inclined to abuse marijuana are largely doing so already. They also say DUII’s involving marijuana usually involve alcohol or other drugs as well.

Pedestrian Death In Ashland MEDFORD, Ore. — Medford Police conducted a Pedestrian Safety Enforcement on Friday to help raise awareness.

Between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Police set up at the intersection of Table Rock Road and Mace Road and the operation targeted drivers who failed to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in an unmarked crosswalk. Using funding from ODOT, MPD conducted the enforcement to raise awareness of Oregon’s pedestrian right of way laws.

The Oregon DMV Driving Manual states that there is a crosswalk at every intersection, regardless if it is marked by painted lines. As stated in the 2014-15 Oregon Driver’s Manual (Page 79): “To Determine where an unmarked crosswalk is, imagine that the sidewalk or shoulder at the corner extends across the road and meets the sidewalk or shoulder on the other side of the road.”

At intersections not controlled by traffic lights, Oregon law states that a driver must stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian in a marked or unmarked crosswalk that is in their lane or the adjacent lane. If a traffic light is present at an intersection, the same rules apply, however the driver must yield to a pedestrian who is six feet away from the adjacent lane. Drivers may also not pass any vehicle that is stopped at a marked or unmarked crosswalk to let a pedestrian cross. Violations of these laws carries a $260 fine.

Some questions have been raised as to why some existing crosswalks are faded and no longer being painted by the city. Research has shown that some pedestrians get a false sense of security with painted crosswalks, and therefore use less caution. Because of this, the city is letting all midblock crosswalks to fade unless they are accompanied by a “positive control.” An example of a “positive control” would be a traffic signal, rectangular flashing beacon, school zone, etc.

From the Enforcement today, the Medford Police issued 3 citations and 32 warnings to motorists who failed to stop and remain stopped at a crosswalk with a pedestrian.


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KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The suspects accused of shooting and trying to kill a Klamath County Sheriff’s Deputy are making their first court appearances. William Parkerson and Kasey Pascoe appeared for arraignment Friday afternoon, the first brief glimpse of the suspects since the shooting on Wednesday.

The two are charged with Aggravated Attempted Murder with a Firearm and Assault in the First Degree, among other things. Those charges stem from the shooting of sheriff’s deputy Jason Weber during what was intended to be a routine traffic stop.

Today’s appearance was just a criminal information arraignment. The grand jury has not finalized the charges against the two, although district attorney Rob Patridge says they aren’t likely to change.

Meanwhile the investigation will continue, its importance enhanced by the fact that the crime was against a deputy, and the fact that it comes on the heels of another officer involved shooting in Medford.

“It was a law enforcement officer doing his law enforcement duties,” said Patridge. “It’s a very scary thing that’s happened, there’s been too much violence against law enforcement here in Southern Oregon in the past week.”

Patridge says all evidence has been collected from the scene where the suspects were caught. He also confirms there is an additional parole violation charge against Parkerson that will be dovetailed into the main case.

Meanwhile the third person of interest, Christopher Holmgren, has been released from jail and does not face charges. Patridge declined to comment on his involvement in the case.

Parkerson and Pascoe will both reappear in court for their preliminary hearing on September 8th, their bail is set at $10 million.

Meanwhile Deputy Jason Weber remains in the hospital. Officials confirm his surgery was delayed from Thursday to Friday, although declined to comment on why. Investigators have spoken to Weber, but have not yet conducted an official interview into what happened.

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