National Guard Fight Fires from the AirSALEM, Ore. — The Oregon National Guard is helping fight fires in our region from the air. The Department of Forestry called in helicopters as part of Operation Plan Smokey.

This request is the second this fire season for two heavy helicopters, one light helicopter and a Medivac is on standby.

These resources will help fire crews on the Beaver Complex, just north of Medford. There aren’t any local National Guard members that have been deployed this week. The air support takes off out of Salem.

emergencyASHLAND, Ore. — The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is reporting a LEVEL ONE EVACUATION for all residents on Copco Road near Ashland. The Oregon Gulch Fire is burning at least 450 acres and growing rapidly in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. It was started by lightning.

Level 1 Evacuation means “Be Ready” for a potential evacuation. Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area. The Sheriff’s Office stresses that this is the time for preparation and precautionary movement of persons with special needs, mobile property and pets and livestock. If conditions worsen, emergency services personnel may contact citizens via an emergency notification system.

 

 

wagner creek wednesdayTALENT, Ore. – Crews continued to battle several small fires in the hills between Talent and Ashland that were sparked by lightning Wednesday.

A National Forest Service spokesman said there are several fires burning in the Wagner Butte area. The largest is being called “Wagner 1,” and has burned about eight acres.

Crews from the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and other agencies are on scene with hand crews and engines trying to put water on the flames and build fire lines.

“There’s some steep ground,” said Forest Service spokesman Paul Galloway. “Some of it’s more easily accessible than others, so yeah, there’s some challenges out there.”

Wednesday, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office put an evacuation notice for people living between mile markers 11 and 12 of Wagner Creek Road, but the notice was later lifted. Galloway said there are currently no homes threatened near the fires.

With more lightning in the forecast for Thursday evening, Galloway said crews were working to put out as many of the fires as they can, so that they are ready if more fires are sparked.

Money-2(CNN) — A growing number of Americans are paying for college out of their own pockets. That’s according to Sallie Mae, which specializes in educational financing.

In the last school year, 42 percent of college cost was covered by parents or student income or savings. The previous year, it was 38 percent, but it had been declining for three years.

Sallie Mae’s report also shows families borrowed 27 percent of college costs last year, this year it’s 22 percent. Many parents are cutting costs in areas like student housing and textbooks.

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Troon Vineyard Anniversary

Troon Vineyard is celebrating another anniversary.  The vineyard is celebrating 42 years of creating wine and they’re inviting you to celebrate.  There will be live music, south american cuisine and of course, wine.  It’s all happening at the vineyard on Kubli Road in the Applegate Valley.  It’s happening Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Everyone gets in free, but you will have to pay for food and wine.

Shrek: The Musical

One of the most popular ogres is heading from the big screen to the stage.  Shrek: The Musical opens Friday.  The Teen Musical Theater of Oregon is putting on the show at the Craterian Theater at the Collier Center in Medford.  The show runs from August 1st through August 9th.  Tickets are $24 for adults and $14 for youth.

Godspell

Theater lovers can see Godspell on the stage.  The play features several favorite songs including “By My Side” and “All for the Best.”  The show tells bible parables using games, storytelling techniques and comic timing.  Godspell opens Friday at the Randal Theater and offers shows through August 17th.  Advanced reserved seats are $15 or pay what you want at the door.

Britt Classical Festival

The hills will be alive with the sound of music this weekend.  On Friday, the Britt Classical Festival begins.  It is the first season on the hill for music director, Teddy Abrams.  The opening night features Abrams and Beethoven’s Fifth. That gets underway at 8 p.m., with a conversation starting at 7 p.m.

Del Norte County Fair

The Del Norte County Fair kicks off Thursday with country singer, John Michael Montgomery.  The fair continues through Sunday.  It’s packed full of fun, including the so-called “Quad Bash,” a destruction derby and of course, the rodeo.

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[UPDATE 11:15 a.m. JULY 31ST] The Josephine County Search and Rescue team recovered the body of 7-year old Dakota Vincent at 8:20 a.m. Thursday. He was found about 50 ft downstream from the Parkway Bridge in 8 ft of water. The Search and Rescue dive team were able to get his body. Josephine County Search and Rescue officials confirmed Vincent died from drowning.

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Law enforcement in Josephine County is continuing the search for a missing boy at Baker Park.

On Monday night, police and fire and rescue responded to Baker Park for a possible drowning, reported east of the bridge. Grants Pass Department of Public Safety said several people called reporting two children and an adult female had gone under water and efforts were being made to save them.

The woman and her 5-year-old sister had gotten out of the water by the time emergency responders arrived, and were being tended to after being rescued by bystanders. The 7-year-old child was still missing and was last seen in the water.

GPDPS reports the Josephine County Search and Rescue Dive Team responded along with two rescue boats and continued the search this morning. Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the police department at 541-450-6260.

KDRV Facebook fan of the Day Albacore bottomNews doesn’t have to be a one way street.  Become a fan of KDRV12 on Facebook and interact with us!

 

You could even become our next fan of the day, weekdays on NewsWatch 12 News This Morning and at 5pm.

 

Starting August 1st, every day, Monday – Friday, the Fan of the day will be entered into a drawing for a one-night stay at The Beachfront Inn in Brookings.  The drawing will be held on Friday, August 29th.
Click here for Contest Rules.

 

 

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Medford, Ore. — In the middle of a drought, it’s more important than ever to know where your water is going and use what water we do have wisely.

OSU Master Gardeners said you should make a priority list.  They say established trees and shrubs need to be saved first because it’s more costly to replace them.

They also suggest reducing lawn watering.  OSU Master Gardener, Jane Moyer said you only need one to two inches of water per week to keep your lawn green.

You can learn more about watering priorities and irrigation tricks at the OSU Extension Service.  The Sustainable Watering Practices class is August 11th at 7 p.m. at 569 Hanley Rd. in Central Point.

OSU Master Gardeners can be contacted at the following numbers:

Jackson County – (541) 776-7371
Josephine County – (541) 476-6613
Klamath County – (541) 883-7131
Coos County – (541) 572-5263
Douglas County – (541) 672-4461

Dispatchers Flooded with CallsCENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Wednesday’s storms increased the amount of calls made to 911′s Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon by 48% compared to Tuesday. Dispatchers expect another spike in calls Thursday afternoon since more storms are in the forecast.

The first thing a 911 dispatcher asks when answer a call is, “What’s the address of your emergency?”

But all too often, it’s a question they say the caller cannot answer.

This was the case for dozens of calls to the Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon (ECSO) Center on Wednesday. The storms meant dispatchers answered 756 calls compared to 363 on Tuesday.

“It was extremely busy we took about 48 percent more 911 calls,” said Operations Manager Kevin Harris.

When an emergency unfolds, time is critical. But dispatchers can only answer the phones one call at a time. “They have to multitask and very quickly get on and off the lines,” said Harris.

So if you dial 911, make your call count. “We’re going to want the caller that has very specific information on … I know exactly where it is or I can tell you what road you need to go down to access the fire.”

If you just see a cloud of smoke in the skies, you wouldn’t necessarily need to call 911. If you see lightning, you wouldn’t need to call then either.

“If that lightning strike creates a fire, you know, that you need to report then that’s definitely a reason to call 911,” said Harris.

Dispatchers expect another busy evening Thursday since more storms are in the forecast. So if you see smoke, help dispatchers help fire crews, by making sure you can answer the location question before calling 911.

talent fire

Smoke Seen from Wagner #1 Fire

TALENT, Ore. — There are currently 30 reported fires on the Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District, according to information from the Oregon Department of Forestry. The largest of those fires is the Wagner #1 Fire that is estimated to be eight acres and located in the Wagner Butte area.

Currently on the High Cascades Ranger District there are 42 confirmed fires. The majority of these fires are estimated to be less than 1/4 acre in size.

ODF is reporting that the Camp Creek Complex is near the vicinity of Rustler Peak. This complex is reported to have a total of 27 fires of which most are located in the Sky Lakes Wilderness. The largest fire in the complex is about seven acres and zero percent contained.

Currently there are over 100 firefighters attached to engines, bulldozers and hand crews assigned to the fire activity on the Siskiyou Mountains and High Cascades Ranger Districts. Two helicopters are currently assigned with air tankers available if needed, and additional firefighting resources have been ordered.

The Oregon Department of Forestry said a Red Flag warning is in effect from 2:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon until 11:00 p.m. Thursday night for abundant lightning.

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