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Police Blotter Aug. 29

Aug. 18

Hood Street, White Salmon – Noise complaint. Report of loud music. Music was turned down.

Skyline Drive, White Salmon – Parking problem. Vehicle blocking traffic. Owner contacted and vehicle moved.

White Salmon – Civil matter. Family issues.

Dock Grade Road, White Salmon – Wanted person. Person who was wanted fled over bank when seen by police. Unable to locate person.

Steuben Street, Bingen – Fire, agency assist. Officer directed traffic.

Bingen – Theft. Theft of property in parked car.

Aug. 19

Steuben Street, Bingen – Warrant arrest. Suspect arrested on outstanding warrant, transported to Skamania County Jail in Stevenson.

Aug. 20

White Salmon – Civil matter. Abandoned vehicle on reporting party’s property. Reporting party (R/P) would like it removed. Officer informed R/P it was a civil matter.

Oak Street, Bingen – Suspicious person. Report of suspect finding keys on the ground; was going around checking car doors.

White Salmon – Domestic violence. Dispute, not physical.

White Salmon – Suspicious person. Suspects burning paper in street. Officer contacted juveniles.

Aug. 21

Humboldt Street, Bingen – Vandalism. Report of vandalism in public restroom. Suspect smeared red matter on walls.

White Salmon – Hit and run. Report of hit and run; vehicle and yard damaged.

Aug. 22

White Salmon – Resisting arrest. Suspect had outstanding warrants. Police spotted suspect, suspect ran, was apprehended and transported to Skamania County Jail.

Jewett Boulevard, White Salmon – Disorderly conduct. Suspect lying on sidewalk, not cooperating. Suspect arrested and transported to Skamania County Jail.

Aug. 23

Bingen – Domestic violence. Dispute and malicious mischief. Suspect arrested and transported to Skamania County Jail.

Bingen – Theft. R/P reported equipment stolen. Case active.

GOVERNMENT FLATS COMPLEX FIRE

Blackburn Fire Update as of Monday, Aug. 26:

The last several days of hard work by fire crews has resulted in the lifting of all evacuation levels by the Wasco County Sheriff's Office and a reduction of the Mt. Hood National Forest's Area Closure. The team's fire behavior analyst stated that the fine fuels (grass and small branches) are starting to dry out from the recent moisture and are becoming more combustible. Any burning has a low possibility of spreading but it will make detecting hot areas easier, allowing a more complete mop-up.

The night shift crew is being reduced to patrolling and looking for hot spots. Crews are using hand-held infrared detectors to help locate heat pockets.

Firefighting crews and resources are beginning to be released from the Government Flats Fire Complex and will be available after a rest period for reassignment to other fires.

The Wasco County Sheriff Department expressed their sincere appreciation to the public for their patience and The Mt Hood National Forest Area Closure has been modified to a smaller area. Forest roads into the fire are still closed due to heavy fire traffic. Listings of the road, trail and campground area closures may be found at these web sites: Mt Hood National Forest (http://www.fs.usda.gov/mthood)

Government Flat Complex at a glance:

Total complex acreage: 11,516, Blackburn Fire Acreage: 11,221

Complex containment: 55 Percent

Total personnel assigned: 789

Structures lost to the fire: 4 homes/9 outbuildings.

Cost of the incident to date: $11 million

Resources: 26 crews/31 engines/11 dozers/12 water tenders/12 helicopters

Ownerships involved: Private, U.S. Forest Service, City of The Dalles, Bureau of Land Management.

Cooperators include Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State Fire Marshal, BLM, USDA Forest Service, City of The Dalles, Wasco County Sheriff's Office, Wasco County Emergency Operations Center, Hood River County Division of Emergency Management, Hood River County Sheriff's Office, American Red Cross, Oregon National Guard, Oregon State Police, and SDS Lumber Co.

A firefighter assigned to the Government Flats Complex fire was injured Saturday morning after falling off a parked apparatus while at fire camp. The male, mid-40s, was stepping out of the cab when he slipped and fell approximately three feet, landing on his back on hard packed ground. He was transported in stable condition by Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue to the medical center in The Dalles.

After further evaluation, it was determined that he sustained a significant back injury and was transferred by his home agency, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, to Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland.

This past week, wildland fire experts from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Yukon have joined their U.S. counterparts in managing fire crews on the Government Flats Complex fires.

The Northwest Wildland Fire Protection Agreement, approved by five Pacific Northwest states and five western Canadian provinces, allows such resources to be quickly shared across state, provincial and international boundaries when needed for suppression and control of wildfires.

Alberta Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Resource Development liaison, Jason Pankratow, said seven task force leaders are helping the Oregon Department of Forestry's Incident Management Team supervise fire crews on both day and night shifts. Small contingents from Saskatchewan, and Yukon are also contributing in similar roles.

"The Alberta fire season typically lasts from March through October but this year has been unusually wet," said Pankratow. "We Albertans are gaining great fire experience in what otherwise has been a quiet season back home." More important to Oregonians, the experience these Canadian experts already possess and bring to the Oregon team is extremely valuable in a fire season where wildland firefighting resources have been stretched to the limit throughout the western U.S.

The Canadians are working in fire conditions that are very different than in Alberta. Pankratow said both the steep topography and the extremely dry and flammable eastern Oregon fuels are the biggest differences compared to the forests of Alberta. But he also notes that incident command system used to organize and manage U.S. wildfires is identical to the Canadian system, making their integration into the incident management team a seamless process.

Pankratow said the most interesting learning experience for his group has been participating in the aggressive night-time fire suppression operations employed by the Oregon Department of Forestry, a tactic rarely used in Alberta.

Currently, Alberta firefighters are also working on fires in Idaho, Montana, and southwest Oregon.

SKAMANIA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

A week long investigation by Skamania County Sheriff’s Office detectives and deputies resulted in the arrest of two men from Washougal and Vancouver for kidnapping, assault, and robbery.

Marcus Bedell, 25 of Washougal, and Charles Sample, 32 of Vancouver, were arrested last week for allegedly kidnapping at gunpoint Vancouver resident Robert Downey, 27, against his will and transporting him to the upper Washougal River area off North Fork Road on Thursday, Aug. 15.

There, they stripped him of his clothing, tied him to a tree, physically assaulted and them robbed him. Downey was left there by Bedell and Sample. Overnight he was able to work himself free and make his way to North Fork Road where a passing motorist picked him up Friday morning, Aug. 16.

The investigation led officers to Bedell’s residence on Huckins-Buhman Road in rural Skamania County where he was arrested on Aug. 16. On Aug. 20, with the assistance of the Vancouver Police Department, officers arrested Sample at a government office building in Vancouver.

Both men are being held in the Skamania County Jail for suspicion of assault in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree, and robbery in the first degree.

This investigation is ongoing and detectives believe additional arrests may be forthcoming.

WASHINGTON STATE PATROL

One man was injured in a one-vehicle accident on State Route 14 at milepost 25, Washougal. The accident occurred on Aug. 24, 2013, at approximately 7:23 p.m.

According to the report, David S. Gensitskiy, 21, Vancouver, was driving his 2003 Suzuki motorcycle westbound on SR 14 when he took a curve too fast. The motorcycle continued straight across the eastbound lanes and struck the eastbound guardrail.

Gensitskiy was transported to Peacehealth Southwest Medical Center.

He was cited for speeding too fast for conditions.

An Arlington man was injured in a one-vehicle accident on Aug. 22, 2013, at approximately 7:40 a.m. The accident occurred on U.S. 97 at milepost 22, 10 miles north of Goldendale.

According to the report, William Evanson, 54, was driving a 2006 Peterbilt tractor and van loaded with apples south on U.S. 97. The semi travelled off the southbound shoulder. The driver overcorrected and the vehicle rolled onto its right side on the southbound shoulder.

Evanson was transported to Klickitat Valley Hospital in Goldendale.

He was charged with wheels off roadway.

OREGON STATE POLICE

According to Sergeant Les Kipper, on Aug. 26, 2013, at approximately 4:15 p.m., two commercials trucks pulling semi-trailers were westbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 80. The truck in the left lane, a 2004 Freightliner, driven by Larry D. Hein, 50, from north Portland, drifted into the right lane and collided with a second commercial truck and trailer. The driver of the 2003 Peterbilt in the right lane, Mark Spooner, 49, from Boise, Idaho, lost control as the truck veered to the left into the center concrete median divider and became high-centered on the barrier where it was pushed about 500 feet before coming to a stop blocking both westbound lanes and the left eastbound lane. There was a small diesel/oil spill onto the eastbound lane.

OSP troopers, firefighters from Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue, and ODOT personnel responded. The investigation led to Hein being cited for failure to drive within lane.

All lanes were cleared by 8:30 p.m.

USFS

The Gifford Pinchot National Forest’s Cowlitz Valley Ranger District is currently managing the Coal Creek Mountain Fire in the Goat Rocks Wilderness.

Started by a lightning strike, the fire was first discovered on Aug. 21, 2013, burning in extremely steep and rugged terrain. Estimated to be less than 10 acres in size the fire is initially being suppressed by aviation assets from the Conrad Lake Fire, in the Wenatchee National Forest. Garth Smelser, deputy forest supervisor, said “With all the fire activity around the country, we understand our communities’ concerns and will continue to keep the public informed on this and future fires. As always, our number one priority remains the safety of our firefighters and public.”

There are no road or trail closures at this time. Smoke is currently visible from U.S. 12 and occasionally from the Packwood area.

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