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Wind shifts may change Miles Fire behavior

For firefighters battling the Miles Fire on the border of Douglas and Jackson County, the main concern on Friday will be the wind.

As a cold, dry front moves into the area, it could cause the fire to do some unusual things as the wind shifts, according to Jake Hastings, a public information officer with the Miles Fire.

Firefighters have been discussing changing tactics, switching from the defensive to the offensive.

“They have been talking about going with direct attacks because the weather has been cooperating,” Hastings said.

Firefighters conduct direct attacks by moving toward the flames with hoses.

“Instead of letting the fire come to the line we’re pushing in as hard as we can to go to it,” Hastings said.

The weather has given firefighters a chance to put hand lines at the southern portion of the fire, according to Hastings.

On Wednesday night, a spot fire jumped across Elk Creek Road, causing a 200-foot by 200-foot blaze to erupt.

Hastings said firefighters acted quickly and were able to extinguish the blaze and prevent it from spreading across the road.

“They were able to get down in this nasty terrain and put a hand line around it,” he said.

For now, firefighters are taking advantage of the weather, but winds might get crazy, Hastings said.

An additional 400 personnel have arrived to help battle the group of fires, which are more than 40,000 acres combined and just 3 percent contained.

The combined acreage went down as smaller fires were contained and taken off the list. The acreage is expected to drop again once firefighters aren’t actively fighting the Snowshoe Fire and it is removed from the list as well.

The Miles Fire alone is 27,039 acres.

Friday is expected to be hazy, with temperatures soaring past 90 degrees. In Douglas County, a level 2 evacuation notice was issued to residents living from 1642 to 3200 Tison Road, as well as two properties north of the Columbus Fire.

Felipe's Chicken starts with a family legacy

Twelve years ago, Felipe Escobedo closed up his food truck, Tacos Jaliscos, when his right-hand helper and wife quit the business to stay home with their three children including a newborn baby girl. Today, he is opening Felipe’s Chicken.

Felipe Escobedo is running the business with his partner Gilberto Gutierrez and plans to pass the business down to his sons Diego and Chris Escobedo.

Felipe Escobedo has worked in kitchens his entire life as a busser, dishwasher, bartender and food truck owner. Felipe’s Chicken, however, will be his first brick and mortar store and it’s all things chicken, from “flat wraps,” commonly called quesadillas, to chicken burgers and chicken a la king.

“People always liked my food (at the taco truck),” he said. “They always asked when I’m going to get a place like this, where you can sit down and enjoy your food.”

He said people offered to help him, but it didn’t work out, and after closing his food truck, Escobedo started working for other people in their restaurants.

“I never thought we’d have a cool actual restaurant like this,” Diego Escobedo said.

Felipe Escobedo was helping a friend work on a different restaurant that was supposed to occupy the space for more than six months, but when plans to open fell through, his friend sold the space to Escobedo and the team has been working on it ever since.

“He’s doing this for us,” Chris Escobedo said. “It’s awesome. I put a lot of money into this myself.”

Felipe Escobedo loves to cook and said Diego Escobedo is always wanting more food, but his other son, Chris Escobedo, is in the one in the kitchen asking how recipes like chicken chile relleno or the vegetable soup are made.

“Watching him cook was entertaining,” Chris Escobedo said. “I’ve seen everything, but I don’t know how to make everything yet. I think about the future and how am I going to do that.”

There aren’t recipe books, just what Felipe Escobedo has created and what he is teaching his sons to make in preparation for them to take over the newly-formed family business.

“I like to show my life,” Felipe Escobedo said. “Not myself, but my family. I try to show who I am and I trust what I do and I hope the people like the food.”

Felipe's Chicken is open and located at 250 Northeast Garden Valley Boulevard, Roseburg. 

Roseburg police to participate in Safety Belt Enforcement Blitz

The Roseburg Police Department will be participating in a statewide Safety Belt Enforcement Blitz from Aug. 20 to Sept. 2.

Law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon will use federally-funded overtime to educate people on safety belt and child seat laws. The focus of this event will be on safety belt usage, child restraint usage, texting and speeding.

Oregon Department of Transportation crash data for 2016 shows that a lack of safety belt and child restraint usage was a factor in 26 percent of motor vehicle occupant fatalities. Safety belts used correctly can reduce the risk of major crash injuries or death by up to 65 percent, according to police.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death nationwide for children ages 1 to 12. In 2016, 1,582 children under 9 years old were injured in Oregon traffic crashes and five children died, according to a police department press release. It is estimated that car seats may increase crash survival by 71 percent for infants under 1 year of age and by up to 59 percent for toddlers ages 1 to 4. Booster seats may reduce the chance of nonfatal injury among 4- to 8-year-olds by 45 percent compared to safety belts used alone.

Police will also use this opportunity to teach people about a newly passed Oregon law aimed at increasing safety for children. The law requires children under 2 years of age to use car seats with a harness in a rear-facing position. This is unless the child turned 1 prior to May 26, 2017. Children over the age of 2 must continue to ride in a car seat with the harness or in a booster seat until they turn 8 or are less than 4 feet, 9 inches tall. The law used to apply to children under 1 year of age.

This better protects a child’s head, neck and spine from potential crash injuries, according to police. Research has shown that children in the second year of life are five times less likely to die or be seriously injured in a crash if they ride in a rear-facing car seat.

The Roseburg Police Department’s participation in the enforcement blitz was made possible due to a grant from ODOT, according to the release.