In a matter of hours last week, the Elbow Creek Fire started and erupted, expanding thousands of acres, tearing through tinder-dry fuel while driven by wind, and quickly threatening homes on Eden Bench and other nearby properties. Level 3 evacuation notices were put in place almost immediately.
- Elbow Creek Fire up to 16,432 acres, still 10% contained
- Crews starting to gain ground on Elbow Creek Fire
- Closures in Wallowa County due to fire
- Crews hold key line south of Elbow Creek Fire
- Elbow Creek Fire nears 20,000 acres; crews from across the nation joining the fight
- Elbow Creek Fire surpasses 18,500 acres in size
- Elbow Creek Fire is currently third largest in Oregon
- Incident management team assumes command of Elbow Creek Fire
- Elbow Creek Fire stands at 17,260 acres
- Firefighters converge to battle Elbow Creek Fire
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At least at first glance, the idea that police departments should be abolished in favor of other methods of protection seems so counterintuitive, it’s difficult to know where to begin.
It’s time to begin the healing process in Joseph.
Typically, Americans don’t spend a lot of time looking backward but we must know our own history so we can navigate the future.
Oregon’s political life bursts with conflict. But the state will be in trouble if the political life is not anchored in a way that serves and represents all the people who live here.
Golfers: Are you packing up to go on a long vacation or a short weekend getaway? If so, be sure and throw in your clubs.
Editor’s note: Pulitzer Prize-winning World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle wrote the following column after a stay with the 36th Division units near Mignano and Venafro, Italy. Pyle was later…
He was almost instantly dubbed by some in the city of Joseph as a superhero.
Sharing someone’s personal information with intent to harm them could soon get you sued in Oregon. A bill in the Oregon Legislature would permit a lawsuit for what’s commonly called doxxing.
The “cloud” that remains over the city of Joseph is starting to take on the appearance of smoke. And where there is smoke, there is fire.
We’d like you to draft a multimillion-dollar wish list and send it off to your Oregon state senator and state representative.
Light is the best disinfectant, and transparency is vital to establishing trust.
The abrupt resignation of Joseph City Administrator Larry Braden late last week comes as a shocking blow to the city at a time when the city government needs an administrator on board — budget…
Oregon lawmakers did something good recently when they approved Senate Bill 513, a measure that requires high school students to complete one semester of civics before they graduate.
The Oregon Legislature is poised to approve yet another gun mandate and while the battle lines over such issues are clearly drawn, the real lesson for voters is they must remain involved and w…
State Senate President Peter Courtney held a news conference before the 2021 legislative session to announce steps to keep the legislative process accessible to Oregonians.
Rural Oregon is facing a difficult post-COVID economic recovery. The $1.9 trillion federal coronavirus relief package will undoubtedly help, but without addressing some long-standing barriers …
Policy disagreements, partisanship and the walkouts can give Oregonians a distorted picture of what their Oregon Legislature is like. Journalists — and certainly this editorial page — tend to …
Jessica Barnett died when she was 17. She had started fainting when she was 12. It looked like a seizure. Her lips would go blue. She was put on epilepsy medication. The fainting didn’t stop.
Do you think Gov. Kate Brown should do more to get schools to reopen? Do you think the state should do more to vaccinate seniors sooner? Do you think the state should look to speed up reopenin…
Oregon lawmakers at the state and national level do far more work regarding unintended consequences when they craft new legislation.
The news was about as exciting as a touchdown at a state championship football game.
State agencies don’t like to be on the receiving end of a zinging audit from the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown already has been under scrutiny for where she placed seniors in the vaccination timeline.
Whether at the state or national level, there has been ample criticism levied about the rollout of the two COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S.
The math is inexorable. Most Oregonians do have health care. The costs, though, keep going up faster than incomes. Gov. Kate Brown summed it up: “Per capita health care costs in Oregon are gro…
The news last week definitely was shocking — a health care worker in Wallowa County was hospitalized for several days after a severe allergic reaction to the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
In today’s pop culture dominated climate, politicians rarely receive much thanks, but the work of U.S. Rep. Greg Walden stands out as a classic example of what an elected leader should do once…
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Dec. 17 extended her COVID-19 emergency order through March. She joins other governors in the region, Democrats and Republicans, in extending one-person rule.
Hope arrived Monday afternoon.
The Observer’s related publication, The Baker City Herald, recently asked Gov. Kate Brown’s office to explain why Oregon’s new risk level system for COVID-19 prohibits restaurants and bars fro…
Oregonians passed Measure 110 by a wide margin in November. It means decriminalization of personal possession of small amounts of illegal drugs, including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and …
The next global pandemic looms. Will Oregon and the world be more prepared?
Recounts and legal challenges notwithstanding, it appears Joe Biden will be president on Jan. 20, 2021.
The news of skyrocketing numbers of COVID-19 infections across the United States is reminding us of the original meaning of the phrase “going viral.”
Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 race for the White House on Saturday, Nov. 7, four days after the election.
The last time we editorialized about how Oregon is moving slowly on helping families find child care that is safe and affordable, it got the attention of state Rep. Karin Power, co-chair of th…
Today’s edition of the Wallowa County Chieftain is the last one before next week’s general election.
In 2019 the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries released an investigation finding many instances of sexual harassment in the state Capitol. It was made worse by ineffective investigation of …
Imagine you were deprived easy access to a COVID-19 vaccine simply because you lived on the west bank of the Snake River rather than the east, in Oregon rather than in Idaho.
At the risk of being a tad bit early, we want to urge everyone in Wallowa County to vote.
Local manufacturing businesses and jobs have experienced a resurgence in recent years that needs to continue for our state’s livelihood and connection to the global economy.
Oregon’s September economic forecast was a big surprise: Instead of a coronavirus-caused $1 billion shortfall, the state predicts to end the 2019-21 budget with a leftover pile $1.7 billion high.
The sight was inspiring — a large American flag draped from the ladder of a fire truck outside of Enterprise City Hall on Friday, Sept. 11.
The Wallowa City Council made the right decision last week when it voted to authorize the sheriff’s office or a city official to issue citations regarding the city’s animal ordinance.
Leaders of Oregon’s rural counties are right to be worried by the state’s emerging Western Oregon State Forests Habitat Conservation Plan. It has the potential to further shrink the amount of …
As legislators across the nation grapple with revenue shortfalls caused by the shutdown and curtailment of businesses in their states, we would like to issue a plea.
Hats off to state officials who announced last week new metrics for some rural schools to reopen, effectively injecting a high degree of common sense to a situation that was rapidly becoming y…
While the COVID-19 pandemic gradually became a politicized issue and fights rage about masks, statistics and death rates, the real issue has faded into the general white noise of the modern Am…
Nobody seems eager to gauge Gov. Kate Brown’s latest COVID-19-related mandates draconian, and while such a description would be a bit over the top, the reality is the restrictions announced by…
The initiative to move Idaho’s border and include more than 18 Oregon counties received a big boost locally after enough signatures were gathered to get a petition on the November ballot in Wa…
To most likely no one’s surprise, the state budget wizards announced last week that a $400 million slash in spending will be necessary to offset a decline in tax revenues but what that will re…
Some members of the Wallowa County Search and Rescue had an eventful Fourth of July, and once again showed why the county is lucky to have these dedicated individuals to call upon.
The COVID-19 virus outbreak put unexpected pressure on an array of state and federal agencies and in at least one case, the compression created leaks that sprouted into wide fissures.
Ranchers in Oregon’s wolf country face a dilemma when their livestock or guard dog turns up dead or badly injured — report it to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and wait a day or two…