Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Polk County issues burn ban Thursday

June 24, 2021 at 5:10pm

Salem-area vaccine clinics will go on as scheduled despite heat wave

Tom McLeod, an EMT with Metro West Ambulance, readies a second dose of the Moderna vaccine at a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Centennial Park in Woodburn, Ore. on Thursday, April 1, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Scheduled outdoor vaccination clinics and events in the Salem area will go on as planned Friday and over the weekend despite a heat wave expected to break local records.

Salem Health will operate its mass vaccination clinic at the state fairgrounds in Salem during its usual hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and will have cool shelter available if lines form, spokeswoman Lisa Wood said.

The healthcare provider is offering mobile vaccine clinics at several local elementary schools and other sites in Salem Friday and Saturday.

Those include Lamb Elementary and Swegle Elementary from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday, and Blanchet Elementary from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday.

On Saturday, clinics will be offered at the State Street Soccer Fields from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the East Salem Community Center from 3 to 6:30 p.m. A complete list is available on the Salem Health website.

"For outdoor clinics, plans are in place to keep the team and participants cool. Vaccine is stored in mobile refrigerators that meet the vaccine storage requirements, and vials can be removed on-demand. Mobile vaccine clinics are equipped with generators should there be a power outage," Wood said in an email.

A scheduled vaccine clinic at Chemeketa Community College on Saturday will also go on as planned, spokeswoman Marie Hullet said. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., shots will be available on the Salem campus in building 7 in the gym lobby. More information is available on the Chemeketa website.

-Rachel Alexander

June 24, 2021 at 4:08pm

Marion County burn ban starts Friday

Marion County has issued a burn ban that will be in effect starting Friday at 7 a.m.

The ban prohibits backyard burning, agricultural burning and other types of debris burns.

It doesn’t prohibit small campfires or barbecues.

However, there may be more restrictive fire safety rules within an eighth of a mile from Oregon Department of Forestry protected land, which exists throughout much of rural Marion County.

ODF restrictions may include prohibitions on campfires, smoking, target shooting, powered equipment, motorized vehicles, and other public/private landowner and industrial fire restrictions. More details about ODF fire restrictions are available at https://gisapps.odf.oregon.gov/firerestrictions/PFR.html.

-Saphara Harrell

June 24, 2021 at 1:51pm

Volunteers needed to help homeless cool off in deadly heat this weekend

Ken Houghton, homeless outreach coordinator for ARCHES, pours a cup of coffee to serve to a homeless resident in downtown Salem in 2019. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

The ARCHES Project is looking for volunteers to help staff a cooling center this weekend as the heat is expected to get deadly this weekend, especially for unsheltered people.


Volunteers can help staff the day center at 615 Commercial St. N.E. during the hottest part of the day from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

“The heat is on - especially for those without a shelter to take cover under. Please come help our unsheltered guests seek some relief from the heat by passing out cold beverages, ice, and cooling cloths to those in need,” the agency said on its website.

Volunteers must be 18 and older. 

-Saphara Harrell

June 24, 2021 at 9:32am

Polk County issues burn ban starting Thursday

Partially-burned apples in Detroit on Saturday, Sept. 27. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Polk County has issued a burn ban because of drought conditions and high summer heat as the temperature is expected to soar into triple digits this weekend.

The ban takes effect Thursday at 1 p.m. and will last until significant rains return this fall, the Polk County Fire Defense Board said in a news release.

The burn ban includes yard debris and agricultural burning. People who violate the ban may be held liable for the cost of putting out a fire and for any property damage resulting from an illegal fire.

For the most current information, please call the Polk County Burn Information Line at (503) 838-2020.

-Saphara Harrell