Blackburn fire close to contained

Nearly three weeks after it began, the Blackburn fire is expected to reach 100-percent containment on Wednesday, according to fire spokesperson David Morman.

He reported crews will continue mopping up the west end of the fire and patrolling other sections to watch for flare-ups. Morman said as of Monday afternoon, 292 personnel were stationed at the fire, but that crews were in an “accelerated state of demobilization.”

The Blackburn fire was part of a complex of three wildfires — the Government Flats complex — that began via lightning strike Aug. 16. Four homes and nine outbuildings were lost in the fire which burned 11,434 acres several miles southwest of The Dalles. The most recent figures available list the total cost of the fire at $13 million, most of which is eligible for reimbursement via the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

On Saturday, Aug. 24, the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Green Team was demobilized from the fire. Their efforts helped support the local Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue in defending homes and property, with 142 personnel from 46 fire districts and departments representing 12 Oregon counties on the Government Flats Complex.

ODF IMT 3 began demobilization of resources on Monday, Aug. 26, and a local fire management team assumed command on Thursday, Aug. 29, at 0700 hours to continue mop-up and patrol of the fires in this complex.

Information regarding recreation on the Mount Hood National Forest and area closures may be obtained by logging onto www.fs.usda.gov/mthood or by calling either the Barlow Ranger District at 541-467-2291 or the Hood River Ranger District at 541-352-6002.

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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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