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Two lightning fires reported Monday near Baker City

Fire crews doused a pair of small lightning-sparked wildfires Monday. Both fires were controlled at one-tenth of an acre.

One blaze was on Hunt Mountain west of Haines. It was initially reported about 9 p.m. Sunday. Two firefighters rappelled from a helicopter to reach that fire.

The other fire was just north of Forest Road 7220 near its junction with the Union Creek Road, Forest Road 2225, about two miles north of Phillips Lake. It was reported about 3:30 p.m. Monday.


Heat is on the way

Record-high temperatures — exceeding 100 degrees at lower elevations — are likely during the coming weekend

By Jayson Jacoby

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The first full weekend of summer might turn out to be the season’s hottest.

We’ll have to wait to see what sort of meteorological dickens July and August can muster to see if that possibility bears out.


Back In The Saddle

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Base Camp Baker photo This photo of Leia Tyrrell, at far right, racing the Criterium in 2012 — the third stage of the Baker City Cycling Classic — graced the cover of the Oregon Festivals and Events Association guide. Tyrrell nearly died from injuries she suffered in a crash during a bike race in 2011 in The Dalles.

Racer Leia Tyrrell has recovered from a 2011 crash in The Dalles that left her in a coma, and she'll compete in the Baker City Cycling Classic this weekend

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

The photo captures Leia Tyrrell with hands in the air, triumphant as she claims first place in the road race of the 2013 Baker City Cycling Classic.

There is no hint that two years prior she was in a coma for 14 days.


Beating The Odds

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Photo courtesy of the Bingham family Sierra Bingham, 15, of North Powder, before her second heart transplant surgery earlier this year. She’s sharing her hospital bed with her brother, Gage, who suffers from the same heart ailment and likely will need a transplant in the future.

Sierra Bingham Recovering From Second Heart Transplant, While Her Family Ponders The Likelihood That Her Brother Will Need A Transplant Too

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

One family.

Three heart transplants in nine years.

And the most recent — Tuesday night — isn’t the last.

“I wish I could say we’re done, but no,” says Stacy Bingham.


What's up with Wallowa-Whitman travel management?

By Jayson Jacoby

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The controversial process that could ban motor vehicles from many roads on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and restrict cross-country driving has been officially postponed, with no timeline for its resumption.

But that’s not to say all work on the Travel Management Plan (TMP) has ceased, or that the debate over the endeavor has gone quiet.


County Commission votes to buy two properties

Baker County Commissioners voted this morning to purchase two properties for county use.


Drying Out There

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Kathy Orr / Baker City Herald May rains greened the sagebrush rangelands of Baker County, but with dry weather prevailing the past two weeks, grass is beginning to cure.

By Jayson Jacoby

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Jason Simmons is a firefighter and so you might figure he would never complain about too much rain.

But there’s more to the relationship between rainfall and fire than pointing out that the former can douse the latter.

Indeed, an abundance of rain can exacerbate rather than quell the fire risk, said Simmons, who’s the fire management officer for the BLM’s Vale District, which includes all the land the agency oversees in Northeastern Oregon.


Sierra Bingham has second heart transplant surgery

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Sierra Bingham

Sierra Bingham, the 15-year-old North Powder girl who received a heart transplant in 2006, had a second heart transplant surgery that finished today at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California.


Hells Canyon fire grows to 630 acres

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The Little Basin fire has burned about 500 acres in Hells Canyon/U.S. Forest Service photo

The Little Basin fire, reported Monday morning near the Dug Bar Road in Hells Canyon, has grown to about 630 acres.

The cause of the fire hasn't been determined, but it's likely that people rather than lightning are responsible, said Matt Burks, a spokesman for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.


No crypto in city water sample

A water sample taken June 1 from the home of a Baker City woman who told city officials she had tested positive for cryptospordiosis did not contain the microscopic parasite, City Manager Mike Kee said today.

A lab in Grants Pass tested the water sample and found no crypto oocysts, the protective shell that makes the parasite resistant to chlorine, which the city adds to its water to disinfect against giardia and other possible contaminants.


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