Lewis River Lower Falls

Lower Lewis Falls

Forest Service asks visitors to take a break from Lower Lewis River Falls

https://katu.com/news/local/forest-service-asks-visitors-to-take-a-break-from-lower-lewis-river-falls

➡️Here is one of the reasons why. Unfortunately I don’t know who took the picture, but there are lots of pictures like this out there right now.

Another person posted that they went down there recently and picked up three big bags full of garbage including diapers.

Here is the full post from the forest service page. I really really wish they hadn’t mentioned Twin Falls!

➡️“Lower Falls Recreation Area- Overcrowding and Access is a Challenge

“Release Date: Jul 27, 2018

If visitors are looking for a peaceful place to hike or view a waterfall, the Lower Falls Recreation Area on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest may not be the best choice.  This summer, there has been a sharp increase in the number of recreationists traveling to the area, especially in the recent hot weather.  The area is extremely overcrowded on weekends, and there’s very limited parking at the site.

Increased amounts of trash littering the recreation site, eroded trails, trampled vegetation, and impeded emergency access are some of the impacts occurring because of the large number of visitors and overflow parking on the roadside.  Visitors can help lessen impacts by choosing another area on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to visit, or by making the trip to the Lower Falls Recreation Area on weekdays.

Access to the area is also challenging due to an active slide on Forest Road 90 at Crab Creek, near the Lower Falls Recreation Area.  The slide area creates a deep slump in the road in which many passenger cars have gotten stuck in recent days.  The high level of traffic on the road has made the problem worse, and driving across the slide area is now recommended for high clearance vehicles only.  Trailers or Recreational Vehicles should not attempt to pass through the slide area.  To avoid the slide area, visitors can reach the Lewis River through Trout Lake to Forest Road 23 and west on Forest Road 90.  The Forest Service continues to work on the slide area to improve passage, but it will take time to develop a lasting solution.

There are many other places to view waterfalls along the Lewis River.  Consider Twin Falls, Upper Falls, Middle Falls, and Taitnapum Falls on the east side of the slide area, or Curly Creek falls on the west side of the slide area.  Sunset Falls is also another good option.  Please be cautious if going near the water.  Slippery rocks, unsuspecting currents, and cold water temperatures are a few hazards that could be encountered.  Always keep a close watch on children, even if they are far from the water.

Find the latest road and recreation information here.

Here is the post url: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/giffordpinchot/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD589167

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Firefighters offer Ways to Help.

“When you want to help….

In a time of crisis people naturally want to reach out and help.  We appreciate those efforts and have a few suggestions for you to consider.

Most appreciated by firefighters:

●       Thank you notes and banners

●       Donations to local recovery efforts

●       Donations to Wildland Firefighter Foundation:  http://www.wffoundation.org

Other ideas:

●       Join or support your local fire department or emergency organizations- they appreciate your generosity since they are the first responders in many cases.

●       Donate to local charitable organizations like the Red Cross.

●       Donate to local food banks, which sometimes get forgotten when fires impact a community.

●       Create and maintain a defensible space around your home!  Give emergency responders and yourself a safe area to defend your home in or retreat to, if necessary.

Note: Fire camps cannot accept food items due to health and federal contract regulations.  We feed our assigned fire crews three meals a day plus snacks.”

Information copied with slight modifications from this NWCC Blog post on Southern Oregon Fires August 24,2018

NWCC Home:

Click here for NWCC home

Photo of Klondike Fire in southern Oregon. Clicking on the photo will take you to the Inciweb site, A great resource for large fire information. Clicking on the photo will take you to the Inciweb site, A great resource for large fire information.

Importance of the Chemical Safety Board

“Over its 20-year history, the Chemical Safety Board has investigated more than 150 explosions, fires, and spills at chemical plants and oil refineries.

Included are the 2012 Chevron refinery fire in Richmond, California, which drove about 15,000 people to seek medical care, and the 2013 West Fertilizer Co. explosion in Texas, where 15 people, including 12 emergency responders, died and 350 homes were damaged or destroyed.

Similar to the National Transportation Safety Board, which probes airplane, ship, and railroad accidents, the Chemical Safety Board has no regulatory authority and does not issue fines or prosecute companies. But its findings often point to problems that other agencies may act upon: It has issued 815 recommendations designed to prevent tragedies at oil and chemical plants.

Established by Congress in the wake of two chemical plant explosions in Texas that killed or injured more than 350 workers, the board has a staff of 35 and a budget of $11 million a year — minuscule compared with other federal agencies. For the next fiscal year, the House has proposed $12 million in funding, while the Senate has proposed $11 million.”

“For example, after the Texas fertilizer plant explosion, the Obama administration enacted safety measures requiring more detailed public reporting of chemical hazards and improved safety training. But under President Donald Trump, former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt moved to rescind most of the new rules, saying they would cost the industry too much — an estimated $88 million a year — and could make public information about chemical plants that would be useful to terrorists.

Moure-Eraso said the board’s highly technical investigations are not duplicated by federal regulatory agencies, which “obviously have failed to prevent some major chemical accidents.”

The EPA inspector general’s office under the Trump administration appears to agree. In a June report, the office said the board’s work complements other agencies’ work because “the root causes of an incident go beyond whether there was a violation of a regulation.””

All quotes are from this article. Personally I wish they wouldn’t focus on it being attacked by Trump because that immediately turns a lot of people against the article and they won’t even read it. There’s some really really important information here.

The photo is copied from the grist article link below.

Grist article on the importance of the chemical safety board and the need to refund it

Grist Article on the Importance of the Chemical Safety Board

“Don’t Tread On Me”: Photo of rattlesnake frozen in death during the Taylor Creek wildfire in Melin, Oregon. His last defiant act was to strike at the flames that consumed him. (Photograph by Dustin Davis) The story behind the photo:

via “Don’t Tread On Me!” An Iconic American Photo Gone Viral. 

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“Don’t Tread On Me!” An Iconic American Photo Gone Viral.

Weekend Adventures

A few recent shots to share with you from last weekend. This first one of the helicopter dipping in the turtle pond is during the recent Memaloose #2 Fire on the Oregon hills along the Columbia River between Mosier and Rowena. The fire was in mop up the last few days which has been a slow process because of the steep terrain and cliffs. Evacuations have all been dropped and the fire was knocked down.

By the way there’s no smoke in the picture because I’m looking south away from the fire.

I started out the morning on top of the world. At least that was the name of the aid station along the route of marathon set up by the Columbia Gorge running club. I had the pleasure of running radio communications at aid station two. My view included a glimpse to the north of Underwood Mountain in Washington state.

The Marathon started here:

On my way up the hill to my station it was misting/raining lately which was so refreshing after a long dry spell. Did not amount to much but it sure felt good. It also provided me with a rainbow. A great start to a beautiful day.

Here comes one of the runners through the aid station.

The end of the 50k

it really was the top of the world, and this is even on the way back down

This next image was taken After the race, Clear across the valley. Looking across the Hood River Valley towards the west and Binn Hill from Fir hill area on the east side of Hood River Valley.

Driving up over the hills and down the valleys to Mosier and upstate road I stopped and took the first photo of the helicopter picking up water. Along the way I stopped to take the photo of the tree because it grabbed my attention.

Here was the view of the backside of Memaloose #2 fire, although this iPhone shot doesn’t capture much. To the far right of the red circle there is smoke and a burned area that has come up over the hill from the north. Fortunately it did not spread much more than this.

After I watch the helicopter I drove back down to the freeway and up to the Dalles and back down to the Lyle rest area where I took a few more photos.

I visited the Klickitat River which is very murky from the glacial run off.

I even found a place to park out of the way somewhere and slept in my car because I knew I was too tired to drive home.

The next morning I stopped and grabbed a couple more shots from the Lyle rest area, happy to see that the fire across the river had calmed down considerably

I chatted with some tourists at the rest area and gave them plenty of information on my way to work at the Mt. Adams Chamber visitor center in White Salmon, Washington. Just doing my job!

It Takes a Village

Rotary Club of White Salmon-Bingen presents the first annual ‘It Takes A Village’ peace promotion and community awareness event on Tuesday September 11th from 3 – 7 pm at Rheingarten Park in White Salmon. This will be happening in conjunction with the Farmers Market.

We encourage you to bring your business to the Farmers Market for this date, as there will be additional draws bringing in a larger than normal crowd.

Would you like to help represent a country? We are seeking community members from diverse backgrounds to share their cultural foods, games and knowledge.

We are going to be seeking volunteers to help with setting up our tents and tables, as well as taking them down. Please let us know if you can assist.

Please contact one of the event coordinators for more details or to sign up!

Tammy Kaufman – 509-637-3340 / TamaraKaufman@gmail.com

Debi Budnick – DebiBudnick@skylinehospital.org

Tammara Tippel – 509-493-3630 / execdir@mtadamschamber.com

Sleeping Beauty Framed

On a freezing cold and brilliantly blue morning in Trout Lake, Washington.

I sure seem to be thinking about snow and cold a lot this week 🙂 while all around me it’s hot and dry and there are fires. Too many fires.

Loss of Baby Comstock

Help with Baby Comstock Funeral and Family expenses during this time.

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On July 18, 2018, little four month old Finlee Andrew Comstock died unexpectedly and suddenly, leaving his parents Derek and Palace in total shock and grief, with no money for funeral or burial.

Through Generous donations , so far enough money has been raised to cover funeral costs. The donation request continues to help the family deal with lost wages etc. during this time.

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https://www.gofundme.com/derek-and-palace-face-tradegy

Also an account has been setup at a local bank for those of you who do not like GoFundMe because of the fees they take out.

And for locals near Dallesport, WA, the local all volunteer Fire Department will be hosting a Spaghetti Dinner as a fundraiser. Little Finlee’s father Derek is a volunteer Firefighter in the Department in Dallesport. This will be Saturday, August 4, 5-9 PM

At the Dallesport Fire Department, 630 Central Blvd., Dallesport, WA, 98617

Fire Danger Conditions

When conditions are as dry as they are now, fires can be ignited extremely easily, from a surprisingly wide range of sources. Any metal-to-metal friction can create a spark; vehicle exhaust systems (especially the catalytic converters, which must be hot to work properly) can easily ignite dry brush; oily rags can spontaneously ignite; the heat generated by organic decomposition can make compost piles highly combustible; glass or metal objects can focus sunlight to a high enough temperature to burn a wide range of combustibles; and then of course there is human carelessness and irresponsible behavior. It pays to not only be careful, but also be keenly aware of the many things that can ignite fires. And to the extent we can, provide water to lawns, shrubs, and trees, so that they can be more resistant to fires and ignition sources.

Credit to Daniel West

Remember, if you think you see smoke and you’re not sure about it call 911 and tell dispatch.

  • Driving in dry grass
  • Glass bottle in dry grass in the sun
  • Chain hanging from vehicle hitting pavement
  • Oily rags in a hot location
  • Bad spark arrester on your motor.
  • And so much more!

Sunset in Glenwood

On my way back from the woods Wednesday evening, i witnessed this wonderful sunset over Mount Adams, from Glenwood, WA.