Monday, September 28, 2020

State agencies raise ‘hot weather, cold water’ alert

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Officials with the Echo Mountain Complex have completed preliminary structural damage assessments in the fire area and 293 residential structures have been determined to be a total loss.

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Evacuations in effect for Lincoln City

A level 3 evacuation is in effect for all of Lincoln City from 40th street north. Level 3 means go now.

Fire strikes historic Otis Cafe on Independence Day

North Lincoln Fire Rescue units swarmed the Otis Cafe shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday to combat a fully involved fire at the iconic restaurant.

Highway 101 hole prompts ODOT to call in geologists

Oregon Department of Transportation officials have called in geologists Thursday to take core samples of a hole on southbound Highway 101 in Otis.

Lincoln City wildfires update

Lincoln City government issued an update Thursday on wildfires north of the city, saying all evacuation orders are still in effect and residents are not allowed in the area.

An evacuated Lincoln City sits dark and intact

Lincoln City Police were active Wednesday night and were patrolling with spotlights in a town evacuated and once again without power.

Local men face drug, weapons charges following ATF search and arrest raid

Two Lincoln City men and a Cloverdale resident were charged Wednesday after Special Agents from the ATF Seattle Field Division executed multiple federal search and arrest warrants in Lincoln City.

Shot with DJI Mavic Mini by Justin Werner
Photo by Justin Werner

As people flock to the water to cool off this summer, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) remind people to play it safe at Oregon’s beaches, lakes and rivers.

Be Safe Exploring the Beach

The Pacific Ocean is a powerful force, and all visitors should know how to stay safe and teach children the same. Even the strongest swimmers can be vulnerable to rip currents — fast-moving channels that flow out to sea. Choppy dark water and floating debris serve as warnings of rip currents.

“If you become caught in a rip current, don’t panic,” said Robert Smith, who coordinates OPRD’s safety program. “Swim parallel to the beach until you are out of the rip, then swim back to the beach.”

Climbing or hiking along beachside cliffs can be extremely dangerous. Cliff edges may look stable, but many can crumble easily with the slightest weight. “Taking one step closer to the edge may be all that is needed to crumble a bluff,” Smith said. “Please stay on trails, respect signs and stay behind fences.”

More beach safety tips are at stateparks.oregon.gov.

Safety Tips for Rivers and Lakes

Be aware that rivers fed by snowmelt run cold even on hot days. And swift currents hidden beneath the surface can catch swimmers off guard.

“If you get caught in the current, know how to float with your feet pointing downstream and have your life jacket straps secured to the jacket so they don’t get tangled in any underwater snags,” said Ashley Massey, spokeswoman for OSMB.

Visitors heading out to a lake or river that typically has a life jacket loaner station will need to bring their own. OSMB and OPRD closed all loaner stations for 2020 due to sanitation concerns related to COVID-19.

“The Marine Board supports closing the stations to protect public health, and recommends visitors bring — and wear — their own jackets,” Massey said. “Accidents happen quickly, and there isn’t time to put on a jacket in the middle of an emergency.”

For information on proper fit and caring for your life jacket, visit oregon.gov/osmb/boater-info/Pages/Life-Jackets.

Water Recreation and COVID-19

It is important to follow these safety tips every summer, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when first responders are stretched thin and worry about exposure to the virus.

When selecting a spot to splash, visitors should choose one close to home and be ready to turn back if the parking lot is full. Visitors should bring everything they need to avoid making unnecessary stops.

Additionally, visitors are asked to wear face covers in tight outdoor spaces such as trailheads, docks and boat ramps.

“Help us keep parks and beaches open by following these precautions and ensuring these areas are safer for everyone,” said Jo Niehaus, spokeswoman for OPRD.

For additional tips about safe recreation during the pandemic, visit OPRD’s COVID-19 Day-use Guide. Recreational boating information is at oregon.gov/osmb/info/Pages/COVID-19.

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This information was provided for dissemination to our readers and was edited to comply with Associated Press style and professional journalism standards by Homepage staff.

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Echo Mountain Wildfire: As it happened

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A lack of expected rain hasn’t stopped firefighters from getting more control over the Echo Mountain Wildfire as 40 percent of the fire is contained and mopping up efforts are underway.