Latest: Sheriff stops armed people from setting roadblocks

The Latest on wildfires in the U.S. West (all times local):

6 pm.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A sheriff in Oregon says authorities responded to reports that armed people in rural areas were setting up roadblocks and demanding identification amid heightened tensions caused by wildfires.

Mike Reese, sheriff of Multnomah County, Oregon’s most populous county, said Saturday that deputies told people such activity was illegal and the roadways remained open. Reese sad authorities have fielded extra patrols.

“The sheriff’s office will not tolerate illegal activity of any kind, including civilian roadblocks,” Reese said.

Earlier this week authorities refuted rumors that anti-fascist activists were setting fires in Oregon.

4:30 p.m.

BERRY CREEK, Calif. — Search and rescue crews have found a puppy amid the rubble of a property destroyed by the deadliest wildfire in California this year.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office said the puppy was covered in soot when it was found hiding Friday in what appears to be parts of a metal engine on a large property in Berry Creek, a tiny hamlet in the Sierra Nevada foothills northeast of San Francisco.

The puppy was taken to a veterinary’s office for treatment of minor burns.

Authorities later learned the owner of the property had several dogs and wasn’t able to grab them all before fleeing from the fast-moving flames.

Megan McMann, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, says deputies temporarily named the puppy Trooper until it can be reunited with its family.

Nine people, including a 16-year-old boy, have been confirmed dead since lightning-caused fires that started weeks ago merged into a monster that largely destroyed the town. A search continued for 19 people who remained unaccounted for.


3 p.m.

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon’s fire marshal has resigned after being placed on leave amid a personnel investigation.

Oregon State Police placed Fire Marshal Jim Walker on leave Friday night, and he resigned Saturday.

In a news release Saturday, State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton said only that a leadership change was needed to face the “unprecedented crisis” posed by the wildfires.

Walker did not immediately return a Facebook message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Mariana Ruiz-Temple, the chief deputy state fire marshal, has been named to replace him.

In a written statement Saturday, Gov. Kate Brown said Ruiz-Temple had “led with grace, transparency and courage” and that she “embodies the experience Oregon needs to face this crisis.”


2:40 p.m.

LYON, Ore. — A hero of the movement to preserve old growth forests in the Northwest is missing in one of the many wildfires scorching Oregon.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that 72-year-old George Atiyeh hasn’t been seen since the Beachie Creek fire burned down his house near Lyon, southeast of Salem, last week. His daughter, Aniese Mitchell, posted Friday night on Facebook that the family was reporting him as missing.

Atiyeh fought for years in the 1980s to block the U.S. Forest Service from clear-cutting the area around Opal Creek, a pristine area in the Willamette National Forest known for its ancient trees, including a 270-foot tall Douglas fir thought to be 1,000 years old. Federal legislation protecting the area passed in 1996.

The Opal Creek …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


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