Posted 3/27/24

Vehicle fire shuts down Highway 20


On Wednesday, March 20, East Jefferson Fire Rescue units responded to a vehicle on fire near Milepost 7 on Highway 20.

East Jefferson Fire …

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Vehicle fire shuts down Highway 20

On Wednesday, March 20, East Jefferson Fire Rescue units responded to a vehicle on fire near Milepost 7 on Highway 20.

East Jefferson Fire Rescue Engine 2, Medic 6 and Battalion Chief 11 were dispatched at 12:58 p.m., after Jeffcom advised that the vehicle, a 2002 Ford Mustang, had flames showing and was blocking traffic.

The engine arrived on the scene at 1:07 p.m., reporting a well-involved vehicle just south of Engel Road.

The vehicle’s wheels were secured with chocks by firefighters, to prevent it from rolling down the hill, and a hand line was used by Engine 2 and Medic 6 to extinguish the fire.

The highway was completely shut down for 40 minutes, for the safety of the public and firefighters working the scene, according to East Jefferson Fire Rescue Chief Bret Black.

The driver of the vehicle said he saw smoke from his center console, before losing all power in the vehicle, and as the vehicle slowed from highway speeds, flames began coming from the engine compartment.

The driver was able to get out of the vehicle safely and without harm.

As of Friday, March 22, Black said the cause of the fire had yet to be determined.


State salmon recovery bill becomes law

A bill to study the impacts of avian predation on the health of juvenile salmon populations in Washington has been signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee.

House Bill 2293, sponsored by Rep. J.T. Wilcox, establishes the Avian Salmon Predation Work Group. Comprised of representatives from various stakeholder groups, including federally recognized Indian tribes, commercial and recreational fishers, conservation organizations, and state and federal agencies, the group will conduct critical research to identify avian species preying on juvenile salmon populations, assess the overall impact of avian predation, and propose remedies.

The group is required to submit a report outlining their findings and recommendations to the Legislature and the Department of Fish and Wildlife by June 30, 2025.

“While we have invested heavily in salmon recovery efforts over the years, avian predation remains a serious concern that must be thoroughly analyzed,” said Wilcox, R-Yelm. "From landowners to loggers, farmers to fishers, and everyone in between, the vitality of our salmon populations has significant economic, cultural, and ecological consequences for all who call Washington home. I am confident this group will do that important work as we strive to ensure the sustainable future of salmon, and all who rely on salmon, for generations to come."

House Bill 2293, which received unanimous approval in the House and Senate, will go into effect June 6.


$2 million in funding for Jefferson County seniors advances

U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06),  a member of the House Appropriations Committee, announced $2 million in new federal funding was passed with bipartisan support in the House, and is expected to be passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Biden.

Jefferson Healthcare’s “Expanding Healthcare for Rural Seniors” would use the funding to support the construction and opening of a new clinic offering specialty care in neurology, as well as pulmonology, ear-nose-and-throat care, and geriatrics to seniors in Jefferson County who face geographic barriers to health care.