Weather Service issues heat advisory

PENDLETON - The National Weather Service Forecast Office has issued a heat advisory for the next three days. Meteorologist Jon Bonk issued the warning at 5:21 a.m. Tuesday. It's in effect from 1 p.m. today to 9 p.m. Friday. He predicted temperatures today would exceed 100 degrees across significant portions of the eastern Columbia River Gorge, the Lower Columbia Basin and the foothills of the Blue Mountains.

"Daytime temperatures will remain hot through at least Friday," he said. "Some cooling is expected over the weekend.

Bonk predicted minimum temperatures Thursday and Friday mornings would remain in the mid 60s to mid 70s, providing little nighttime relief.

A National Weather Service heat advisory means a prolonged period with temperatures at or exceeding 100 degrees is expected. This will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible. Agency officials advise people to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sunshine and check on relatives and neighbors, especially the very young and the elderly.

More weather information is available at the agency's Web site,

National Forest fire restrictions begin

Restrictions on the Umatilla National Forest began at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

The first restriction disallows building and tending campfires - including charcoal briquettes - outside of a fire pit in a designated camp area. Cooking fires and warming fires also are prohibited. Heat sources allowed include pressurized gas stoves and space-heating devices.

Smoking is allowed only inside of vehicles, buildings, developed recreation sites or in an area cleared of flammable debris.

Internal combustion engines, such as those in chain saws, are not allowed. Generators are allowed only in the center of a cleared-out area at least 10 feet in diameter. A generator also can run inside a pickup bed clear of flammable debris.

The Forest Service advises forest visitors to carry an ax, a shovel and an 8-ounce or larger fire extinguisher.

Milton-Freewater transit services roll

MILTON-FREEWATER - The City Council approved grant funding needed to continue two public transportation programs Monday.

The first is a taxi service for seniors and disabled passengers, running since 1971, that serves a minimum of 500 passengers per month.

The service charges $1 for in-city passengers and $2 for passengers outside the city limits, but the bulk is funded by a $35,000 grant administered by the Umatilla County Special Transportation Fund.

The second grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation supports a fixed-route bus program.

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