Portland, OR

Thursday in Portland: PF&R reports increase in homeless tent, camp fires across the city

Emily Scarvie

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Thursday, Nov. 17 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. PF&R reporting increase in homeless tent, camp fires across city

Portland Fire & Rescue officials say the number of homeless tent and camp fires they respond to across the city is continuing to increase year after year. In 2021, PF&R reported 443 homeless tent or camp fires. In 2022, there have already been 444 fires connected to tents or camps. According to fire officials, it’s difficult to balance public safety when it comes to homeless camp fires. Even though there are laws against public burning, there are exceptions when temperatures drop.

Lt. Lauren Picard says the department currently uses a multi-faceted strategy, including increasing shelter space and capacity during severe weather. He said PF&R crews are more lenient about illegal fires at camps during severe cold weather. But when it comes to wildfire season, crews extinguish all fires regardless of the circumstances.

Fire officials said people can call the non-emergency line to report small fires that don’t appear dangerous, or call 911 if a fire appears to be out of control.

2. Acclaimed brewmaster, 'Top Chef' finalist opening new brewery in SE Portland

On Friday, the highly anticipated Grand Fir Brewing will open in southeast Portland, offering food and beer pairings from some of the city’s best. Acclaimed brewer Whitney Burnside and her husband, chef Doug Adams, chose to leave big restaurant life for the new venture.

For years, Burnside has been an award-winning brewmaster at 10 Barrel Brewing. Adams was a finalist on Bravo’s “Top Chef” in 2015, worked as executive chef at Imperial and co-founded Portland restaurants Bullard Tavern and Holler.

“After the pandemic, I realized I didn’t want to cook food if it wasn’t paired with Whitney’s beers,” Adams said. “Grand Fir Brewing is a total marriage of the beer and the food and the atmosphere of what we’re trying to put down.”

3. Portland Thorns' Christine Sinclair hosting book-signing event this weekend at Powell's

On Nov. 1, Olympic gold medalist and Portland Thorns team captain Christine Sinclair published her first book, a memoir titled “Playing the Long Game.” She co-wrote the book with award-winning writer, broadcaster and author Stephen Brunt. Sinclair will be signing copies for fans at Powell’s Books this Saturday.

Sinclair, a Canadian professional soccer player, has scored the most international goals of any men’s or women’s soccer player. She’s been with the Thorns since 2013. Her book was published the day after she and the team won the National Women’s Soccer League Championship.

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