BRIEFLY: Trust awards grant for library roof

By Observer staff July 14, 2014 10:07 am

Trust awards grant for library roof

At the June program meeting, Meyer Memorial Trust’s board of trustees awarded seven grants worth $276,853 to organizations in Eastern Oregon.

The awards include a $4,200 Grassroots Grant to help the Cornucopia Arts Council in Halfway support the Clear Creek Music Festival, and a $15,984 grant to replace the roof of La Grande’s historic Carnegie Library building, home to the Union County Art and Culture Center’s exhibits, art classes, events and administrative offices. Meyer also awarded a $150,000 Responsive Grant to Northeast Oregon Network in La Grande to implement an innovative, coordinated health care reform model targeting patients with chronic health conditions in Northeast Oregon.

PFLAG plans two upcoming events 

Union County PFLAG will have its monthly board game night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday in the Bear Mountain Pizza community room. Bring a game to share with some new players, or just get in on one of the many games that chapter officers will provide. It’s a good chance to meet new folks and socialize.

PFLAG will throw its annual barbecue from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Birnie Park. The group will provide the basic entrees (hot dogs, hamburgers, etc.) along with soft drinks, but potluck contributions are encouraged.

Cattlemen plan annual picnic 

The Union County Cattlemen will have its annual picnic at 1 p.m. Sunday at Catherine Creek State Park.

Steak and drinks will be provided. Each person is requested to bring one salad, one dessert, plate, fork and knife.

For more information, call Dennis Murchison, president, at 541-663-0339; Jason Beck, first vice president, at 541-805-9307; or Pat Larson, secretary, at 541-963-9387.

ODF institutes regulated-use closure

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Northeast Oregon District will institute a regulated-use closure beginning Tuesday due to forecasted warm dry weather and increased thunderstorm activity. All lands protected by the district will be placed under heightened fire safety restrictions with the objective to limit human-caused fires in the district.

The closure includes the following restrictions:

• Open fires are prohibited except at designated locations: Emigrant Springs, Ukiah-Dale Forest, Catherine Creek, Hilgard Junction, Red Bridge, Wallowa Lake, Minam and Unity Lake state parks. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.

• Debris burning is prohibited, except in burn barrels for which a burning permit has been issued.

• Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water or at a cleared area free of flammable vegetation.

• Non-industrial chain saw use is prohibited between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Chain saw use is permitted at all other hours if the following firefighting equipment is present: one axe, one shovel and one 8-ounce or larger fire extinguisher. A fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.

• Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. These activities are permitted at other times if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present.

• Use of sky lanterns is prohibited.

• Use of exploding targets is prohibited.

• Use of tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base is prohibited.

For more information and a complete list of regulations during the regulated-use closure, contact the ODF La Grande Unit at 541-963-3168.

Lightning launches fire season on forest

ENTERPRISE -— Lightning storms lit up the skies above the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman national forests Sunday night sending firefighters to work by air, foot and engine.

Josh Hewitt of the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center said 1,100 lightning strikes were recorded in the last 12 hours.

Several fires under one-fourth of an acre were reported beginning at 5:37 p.m. Sunday. The most recent as of press time was reported at 8:15 a.m. 

A bulk of the calls came in overnight across the Wallowa-Whitman including one in the-Eagle Cap Wilderness south of the Hurricane Creek Trailhead and one in Idaho in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area at Jones Creek.

Hewitt said smokejumpers were ordered for both of the remote fires and a hand crew was dispatched to the fire up Hurricane Creek. 

The fire in Hells Canyon is at 150 acres. In addition to two loads of jumpers, air attack, including single-engine air tankers and helicopters, are responding. 

Hewitt said the Blue Mountain helitack and rappel team was dispatched to the Umatilla National Forest, and the Sled Springs crew is working the north end of the Wallowa-Whitman.