Highway 35 reopens with restrictions

By SUE RYAN

News staff writer

August 19, 2006

The U.S. Forest Service approved the reopening of Highway 35 Thursday night with restrictions.

A section of road between Baseline Drive northeast of Parkdale and the White River Sno-Park had been closed since Aug. 8, when fires began on Mount Hood. District Ranger Daina Bambe said Thursday plans had been finalized for a community meeting on the reopening, a fire update and questions and answers at 4 p.m. Friday (after press deadline) in Parkdale at the Parkdale Community Center.

As of Thursday evening, the Mount Hood Complex fire had burned 1,050 acres and was 25 percent contained. Crews have grown to 736 personnel with operations primarily focusing on the Bluegrass Fire. Work on the Gumjuwac Saddle Fire has reached the mop-up stage.

The Forest Service has continued a burnout of fuels along with heavy air support, which has been based on a taxiway at the Ken Jernstedt Airfield in Hood River.

Carson Helicopters of Medford has two Sikorsky helicopters, an S-64 Skycrane and an S-61-N, flying the loads of retardant and water to the fires.

Anne Yanotti, manager of Flightline Services (the airport’s operator) said the fire is a good reminder of the need for a local airport.

“Every county should have a local airport,” she said. “It’s really important for this kind of event for fire but also for search and rescue and LifeFlight operations.”

Restrictions for the highway’s reopening include:

* From 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.: Public travel on Highway 35 will be allowed with restrictions. There will be no stopping along Highway 35 between Cooper Spur Road and the Forest Service Road 48 junction.

* From 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.: Highway 35 will be closed to public traffic between Cooper Spur Road and Forest Service Road 48.

* From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.: Pilot cars will shuttle traffic through the fire zone between Milepost 67 (Pocket Creek) and Milepost 71 (north of Forest Service Road 44).

* The road to Mt. Hood Meadows and the road to Cloud Cap Inn/Tilly Jane will remain closed. However, Cooper Spur Road is open.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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