Buck Mountain hiking fatality
- Written by Chief Jason Reinfeld, CCSO
Update August 7th, 2018
The autopsy for Mr. James Rothwell who fell while climbing Buck Mountain in Chelan County was completed today. He died as a result of Blunt Force Trauma to the Head and Trunk. Manner of death has been ruled an accident.
He was wearing a helmet but the force to his head from the fall was too much for the helmet to absorb the energy and he had severe trauma to his brain.
Update August 6th, 2018 2020 hours
The two remaining hikers have made their way out of the mountains. After speaking with them it was determined they were traversing a steep face when the victim lost his footing. He fell approximately 50 feet. They hiked down to him and rendered aid. He survived for a short period of time before he succumbed to his injuries. The victim has now been identified as a 44 year old male from the Seattle area. Initially it was believed he was from New York but he has lived in the Seattle area for several years. His identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on August 4th, 2018 at 2:34 PM CCSO was advised of an emergency beacon activation in the area of Buck Mountain, a remote area approximately 17 miles north of Lake Wenatchee. After obtaining the coordinates from AFRCC (Armed Forces Rescue Coordination Center) it was determined the beacon was staying in one location. The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office AIR10 helicopter was deployed and located a group of three near the coordinates at approximately 6:45 PM. They were at about 6750 feet in elevation. One of the three subjects was laying down and wrapped in an emergency blanket. There was no suitable landing zone nearby so a request was made through state emergency management for a hoist capable helicopter.
King County Sheriff’s Office accepted the misson. They arrived on scene at approximately 10:00 PM but had to abort the mission due to weather. A call was plced back into state emergency management requesting a helicopter from NAS Whidbey Island. The Navy crew accepted the mission and arrived in the area at approximately 12:40 AM on August 5th. They were able to hoist the patient, a 44 year old male out of New York on board the helicopter. He was deceased due to unknown injuries. Due to low fuel in the helicopter he was transported to Boeing Field in Seattle.
The remaining two hikers were uninjured and remained on scene to hike out in day light. At this time it is unknown how the injuries were caused.
Eastbound lanes of I-90 near Cle Elum to close to traffic two nights next week
- Written by Meagan Lott, WSDOT
CLE ELUM – The eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 will close to traffic near Cle Elum two nights next week.
The contractor working for the Washington State Department of Transportation is replacing the bridge decks near Cle Elum. In order to do this work, the eastbound lanes will close to traffic from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7 and Wednesday, Aug. 8. Drivers will be detoured around the closure via State Route 970 and US 97 and should plan for about 30 minutes of added travel time.
Drivers will also experience lane closures in both directions during the day next week Monday through Friday due to bridge work near Cle Elum at milepost 86 and near Ellensburg at milepost 102.
WSDOT provides a variety of tools to help plan your trip over Snoqualmie Pass:
- Sign up for email updates and text message alerts.
- Snoqualmie Mountain Pass Web page for real-time travel information and to view traffic cameras.
- Check the weekly Construction Updates and Traffic pages for region-wide updates.
- Tune into the Highway Advisory Radio at 1610 AM and 530 AM.
- Follow us on Twitter @snoqualmiepass.
- Call the I-90 construction hotline at 888-535-0738 or 511.
Effective Aug. 2, DNR Bans Outdoor Burning Statewide
- Written by waburnbans.net
Some campfires still allowed, check local restrictions before lighting any fire
OLYMPIA –Ninety-six percent of the state is experiencing drought-like conditions, which means a high risk of wildfires. In response, Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz is instituting a statewide ban on outdoor burning on the 13 million acres of forests and state parks under DNR fire protection.
Per the Commissioner’s Order, the ban begins Thursday, August 2, 2018.
Included in the outdoor burning ban are burn piles, prescribed burns, and the use of charcoal briquettes.
“When the risk of wildfire is this high – and when so many of our firefighting resources are already committed – we must take significant steps to protect our communities and firefighters,” said Commissioner Hilary Franz. “I know this is an inconvenience, and I appreciate the public understanding that this is not a safe time for intentional burning within our forests.”
The burn ban does not include federally managed lands, such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges, or other areas administered by federal agencies.
Campfires are still allowed in approved fire pits within some designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds.
To avoid accidental wildfires, the public can practice these prevention tips:
Camping and recreating
- Only build campfires where authorized and when not under a burn ban; put them completely out before leaving camp, even for a few minutes; use plenty of water and stir until the coals are cold to the touch. Check locally before lighting a campfire as conditions may change and counties and local fire districts may have additional or new burn restrictions.
- Dispose of lit smoking materials appropriately.
- Fireworks, incendiary ammunition and exploding targets start fires and are illegal to use or discharge on public lands, including all state forests.
Vehicles and Towing
- Be sure chains and other metal parts aren’t dragging from your vehicle or trailer. They can throw sparks and start fires.
- Make sure all off-road vehicles have a properly functioning and approved spark arrester.
- Be careful driving through or parking on dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes can start the grass on fire. You may not even notice the fire until it’s too late.
- Check tire pressure and condition. Driving on an exposed wheel rim can cause sparks.
- Have brakes serviced regularly to prevent brake pads wearing too thin; metal on metal can spark or drop pieces of hot brake pad.
Daily updates on burn restrictions are available at 1-800-323-BURN or on DNR’s website at www.dnr.wa.gov/OutdoorBurning.
The outdoor burning ban is expected to last through Sept. 30, 2018, though may be extended or shortened based upon ongoing fire conditions.
Stay connected during wildfire season
Anyone who spots a wildfire should call 911 as soon as possible to report it.
Public invited to review draft transportation plan for 2040 and beyond
- Written by Paul Parker, WSTC Deputy Director
OLYMPIA – Here’s your chance to have a say in the framework that ensures transportation plans and investments for local streets and roadways, state highways, transit, ferries, sidewalks, bike lanes, air, barge, and rail all work together to keep people and freight moving safely and efficiently.
The public is invited to review and comment on the draft Washington Transportation Plan – 2040 and Beyond, just released by the Washington State Transportation Commission.
Transportation Commission Chair Jerry Litt said a regular refresh of the plan is a chance to take stock of what has changed since it was last updated in January 2015. “The pace of change, especially in transportation technologies, is picking up. It’s important to regularly look at emerging issues to be sure we’re on the right track.”
Emerging technology is one of three big uncertainties the commission highlights in WTP 2040 and Beyond. The other two are: system resiliency in light of extreme weather events and natural disasters like earthquakes, and how to pay for transportation. “We’re dealing with some big issues that are going to affect all of us in some way,” Litt added. “Transportation affects every aspect of our daily lives. There are some hard choices in front of us and we need to make smart, informed decisions.”
The commission reached out to a broad group of organizations for input in developing the draft plan. The 27 members of the WTP Advisory Group include regional planning organizations, state agencies, tribal and transit representatives, business and port associations, city and county associations, transportation and planning advocates and others.
“We relied on insights from advisory group members to help us understand transportation issues from the perspectives of their many different constituents,” noted Commissioner Hester Serebrin. “We will strive to ensure that underrepresented communities have a voice at the table in order to develop a plan that supports transportation all across Washington.”
Commission staff are holding meetings around the state to share the draft WTP 2040 and Beyond plan. A list of meeting dates and locations is on the project website.
Commissioner Debbie Young encouraged people to learn more about the plan and provide input. “This plan will shape how we think about transportation problems and solutions, from rural Washington to our biggest cities. Input now will help make sure we hear everyone’s perspective.”
The Commission must adopt an updated plan and present it to the State Legislature and Governor Inslee by January 2019
Smoke investigation in Navarre Coulee 7-31-18
- Written by Carol A. Kibler, CFR
July 31, 2018 - Chelan Fire and Rescue responded Auto-Aid with Chelan County Fire District 8 to a reported smoke investigation in the area of 6710 Navarre Coulee Road.
The smoke investigation was up-graded to a brush fire near a residential house and other out buildings.
The first unit on scene reported a working brush fire near structures and that the fire had spotted across SR971 mid-slop. Both fires were wind driven.
A second alarm was requested and CWICC was notified bring additional resources from neighboring department, USFS, DNR, BLM and the State Mobe Strike Team that was staged in Entiat for the Cougar Creek Fire. Jurisdiction established a unified Command while ground resources were engaging both fire fronts.
Navarre Coulee was closed to emergency traffic only and a Level three evacuation was issued for those homes on the north side of Navarre Coulee between the fire and SR 97A. Level one evacuation notice were issued to those homes on Knapp Coulee.
The fire was turned over to DNR this morning and is still considered an active fire. Most local fire resources involved in the Initial fire attack have been released and returned to their district for some much need rest while DNR and strike Team resources have taken up their positions.
US 97 Blewett Pass CLOSED September 9th TO 14th
- Written by Jeff Adamson, WSDOT
US 97 Blewett Pass will be closed in both directions to ALL traffic from 9 PM Sunday, September 9th to 9 AM on Friday, September 14th to replace 3 culverts under the highway between MP 157.6 and MP 169.0.
Two box culverts will be installed about 1.5 miles and 4.5 miles north of the summit. As part of a separate contract, a third box culvert will be installed near the Swauk Creek campground.
The culvert replacements will all be done at the same time to minimize impacts to traffic and recreation. In addition to the full closure, the two projects may require intermittent weekday single lane closures throughout the month of September.
The current Mill culvert on Swauk Creek is a barrier to salmon and resident trout due to its size and orientation. The culverts on the north side of Blewett Pass need to be replaced because they are undersized and have a history of plugging with debris during storms, leading to washouts along the highway.
• Southern limit: MP 157.60, Between Mineral Springs and USFS #9714 – Iron Creek Rd
o 8 miles north of US 97/SR 970 junction (Lauderdale Junction), 5 miles north of Liberty.
• Northern limit: MP 169.00, Just below Five Mile Creek Rd.
o 5 miles north of Blewett Pass Summit, 9 miles south of Ingalls Creek Rd, 16 miles south of US 97/US 2 interchange (“Big Y”).
• Forest Service roads that have outlets within the work area will be barricaded at:
o USFS 7320 – Old Blewett Rd at Swauk Meadow (MP 159.23)
o USFS 9711 – Hurley Creek Rd at Swauk Meadow (MP 159.27)
o USFS 7324 – Wenatchee Crest Trail at Summit trailhead (MP 163.92)
o USFS 9716 – Swauk Discovery Trail at Summit trailhead (MP 163.89)
For more information & updates go to https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/us97/blewett-pass/home
9 year old girl bicycle/car fatality in Leavenworth
- Written by Undersheriff Jason Mathews, CCSO
Sheriff Brian Burnett is saddened to report on July 25, 2018 at approximately 6:30pm the Chelan County Sheriff’s responded to a vehicle versus bicyclist collision on Icicle Road near the intersection with Prowell Street in Leavenworth.
The bicyclist was a 9 year old female who was struck by a passing vehicle.
A Chelan County Deputy, who was responding to a different non-emergent call for service, witnessed the collision and immediately requested medical aid and additional Deputies. The Deputy then began life saving measures until relieved by responding medical aid units. Attempts to revive the child were unsuccessful.
An investigation was conducted last night and will continue today with the assistance of the Washington State Patrol. This is clearly a tragic event with multiple families affected. The driver of the vehicle did not show any signs of impairment.
Chelan Fire and Rescue Commissioner Workshop 7-25-18
- Written by Carol A. Kibler, CFR
Chelan Fire and Rescue
Commissioners Workshop agenda:
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 @ 10:30 a.m.
Long Range Planning Discussion:
- 2019 Staffing Model options.
Governor fills open seat on State Transportation Commission
- Written by Reema Griffith, WSTC executive director
OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee recently appointed James (Jim) A. Restucci, Sunnyside, to fill an open seat on the seven-member Washington State Transportation Commission. The appointment is for a six-year term ending June 30, 2024.
Restucci is vice president, chief technology officer, and co-founder of Axcess Internet Services, Inc., a company providing internet services and managed information technology solutions since 2002.
“I am honored by the governor’s trust,” said Restucci. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the commission, WSTC staff, members of the state legislature, and city and county local appointed and elected officials, as well as citizens at large to provide a transportation plan that addresses the needs of all Washingtonians now and into the future.”
A member of the Sunnyside City Council since 2004, Restucci served as mayor of Sunnyside from 2010 to 2018, and was president of the Association of Washington Cities from 2016 to 2017.
While active in many community groups and organizations in the Yakima Valley, Restucci is focused on improving transportation in his community. Since 2010, he has served as chairman of the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments, which serves as the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Regional Transportation Planning Organization for Yakima County. He has also served as a board member and president of “People for People,” a nonprofit organization that includes employment and training services, special needs transportation, and transportation for Medicaid services, in communities across eastern Washington. From 2012 to 2018, Restucci served on the National Association of Regional Councils Board of Directors, representing the regional and transportation interests of Councils of Government in Washington and Oregon on the national stage.
Restucci served in the U.S. Army from 1984 to 1995, and in the Washington Army National Guard from 1995 to 2004. He is a recipient of the Washington State Guardsman's Medal. He also is a lifetime member of the Sunnyside Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3482 and served as Senior Vice-Commander, Post Judge Advocate and Post surgeon. Restucci is a member of the AMVETS Post #73 and the American Legion Post #3733.
Restucci is married to DeLeesa Restucci and has two sons, Dylan and Alex.
The transportation commission is a seven-member body appointed by the governor and charged with setting toll rates, ferry fares, authoring the state’s 20-year transportation plan, and advising the governor and legislature on transportation policy and fiscal matters. For more information about the commission, visit: http://www.wstc.wa.gov/
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