75 years ago
August 13, 1943
Bounty on coyotes under consideration
The county court is considering a bounty on coyotes. The state will match the county fifty-fifty up to $2,000. The stockmen are complaining that the coyote is taking a heavy toll on sheep and calves, and ask that something be done to curb the increasing menace.
The court has agreed to match the state, if the stockmen will match the county. Henry Gregg, Leslie Holland and Fred Woods appeared before the court representing the grange and stockmen. They will be the ones to contact other stockmen for the $1,000. If the stockmen raise their quota then the county will have $4,000 to be paid for bounties. The bounty as set forth by the state legislature was four dollars for females and three dollars for dog coyotes. The $4,000 should mean that 1000 coyotes would be scalped by the citizens, if the plan is worked out.
50 years ago
August 15, 1968
Forest fires set record
With 100 fires in a five-day period, the Malheur National Forest recorded a record number of fires for a season with a total of 278, according to the supervisors’ office.
Since Thursday, Aug. 8, lightning caused 99 fires on the Malheur. Only one fire was classified as man-caused. For the season, lightening is blamed for starting 270 fires while eight are man-caused.
A severe lightening storm Thursday was the source of the activity, according to the forest service.
Every new fire for the remainder of the season will establish a record. The average number of fires for a season is about 150.
On the East Central District, Harry (Swede) Pearson said 23 fires were reported since August 8. All but one were caused by lightning. The district has 74 fires for the season. Lightening caused 63 fires, said Pearson, and the rain has been helpful.
The rain has been helpful, said Pearson. Fire crews have been able to be relieved of their duties.
Pearson commended the forest service for their effective fire record during the recent lightning storms.
25 years ago
August 12, 1993
Bigfoot? A big hoax
The report in a weekly tabloid detailing the find of a bigfoot burial ground on the Malheur National Forest has been termed “totally ludicrous” by forest service officials.
The article claimed hundreds of the creatures were found in a burial mound in the forest east of Seneca. The bones were allegedly found by a Dr. Jan Margate who was searching for Indian relics.
Suzanne Crowley-Thomas, forest archaeologist on the Malheur, said the article in the Weekly World News, dated August 10, 1993, “Has no basis in fact whatsoever, and anyone searching for Indian relics on the Malheur is doing so illegally.”
Crowley-Thomas went on to say that permits are required to begin an archaeological excavation on national forest lands and she knows of no permits that have been granted for any excavation on that portion of the Malheur. She also raised the question of which institute or university the archaeologist quoted in the Bigfoot article, Dr. Margate, is associated with, as no mention was made in the tabloid.
“Something of this nature, and having to do with an archaeological dig on the Malheur, I would know about,” said Crowley-Thomas. “It boggles the mind what these sensation-seeking tabloids can come up with sometimes.”
10 years ago
August 13, 2008
Fire crews tackle Silvies blaze
The Silvies River Fire spread to 3,000 acres in steep terrain and heavy fuels near Burns, but fire crews were able to achieve 70 percent containment by Monday evening, Aug. 11.
A fire camp was established at the Harney County Fairgrounds, with aircrews using the helibase at Burns Airport.
Bureau of Land Management officials said the fire was relatively quiet Sunday, and crews were able to set hand-lines and hose lays from the Silvies River to the ridge top above the fire. The north portion was mopped up, but there remained potential for growth of the fire in the Lake Creek drainage.
“We’re working hard to minimize grazing allotment loss on this fire,” said Incident Commander Mark Rapp.
“As dry as it’s been the last week, along with weather events of the last two days, there’s good confidence any additional fire growth or increase in fire activity is almost nonexistent,” said fire behavior analyst Francis Mohr at evening briefing on Monday.
The fire was located 13 miles northwest of Burns. It destroyed one historic cabin on Aug. 9, and threatened two residences before crews got lines in place, officials said.
In Grant County, fire crews last weekend stopped the Sunshine Fire, located north and east of Forest Service Road 45 on the Malheur National Forest.
The blaze burned some 150 acres north of the Middle Fork John Day River. It was reported Friday, Aug. 8, and air tankers were dispatched to help ground crews hold the fire lines as gusty winds swept through the area.
The fire was one of about 100 sparked by lightning storms that moved across Grant County Thursday, Aug. 7.
Firefighters also were dispatched last week to tackle the Wagon Road Gulch Fire, which grew to 100 acres in size before containment. The Birch Creek Fire, located one mile south of Kimberly, was estimated at 200 acres in size.
North of Dayville, a fire on Rudio Mountain scorched more than 35 acres last week.
Other fires in the region include:
• Northpole Ridge Fire - at 6,700 acres as of Tuesday, burning in grass, sage and juniper about 10 miles east of Clarno. It was 70 percent contained. A 20-man hand crew, the Northwest Regulars, is joining seven heli-rappellers and one engine at work on the fire.
• Eagle Creek Fire - at 370 acres and 50 percent contained, burning in grass, brush and heavy timber about six miles southeast of Athena.
• Fire #650, four miles west of Moro on the Lower Deschutes River, was reported to be 100 percent contained at 5,175 acres.