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Oregon Coast News Week: Murder, Crab Shells, Glass Floats, Fire Dangers

Published 07/04/21 at 6:25 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon Coast News Week: Murder, Crab Shells, Glass Floats, Fire Dangers

(Oregon Coast) – The holiday weekend closes out an eventful and not always pleasant week on the coast and throughout the state, starting with a record-breaking heatwave that left its mark on the Pacific Northwest. 115 degrees smacked many towns along the northwest corner, and even places like Tillamook and Astoria reached record-breaking temps of 100.

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That and excessively dry conditions have left the coastal regions of Washington and Oregon under a flurry of changing bans and warnings, just as the holiday weekend got underway. Due to extremely dry conditions, all of Washington and its coastline just banned campfires and charcoal use this week, one part of the southern Oregon coast has banned all beach fires and campfires, and several Oregon forests have prohibited them.

More bans are likely on the way, so be cautious when you're visiting any destination in the Pacific Northwest. Fireworks are illegal on all Oregon beaches and state parks, and many communities around Washington and Oregon have banned them. See Campfire, Bonfire Bans on All Washington Coast, Part of S. Oregon Coast

As the heatwave torched much of the inland state, some on the beaches found themselves in a disturbing situation last weekend. Sand Lake Recreation Area on the north Oregon coast was closed part of Saturday, June 26 because of a murder investigation.

Local authorities said they received a call at 3:34 a.m. from the Sand Lake Recreation Area near Pacific City that a shooting had occurred. First responders arrived to find a 30-year-old male who was unconscious, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. While a Lifeflight helicopter also responded the man died at the scene.


Photo courtesy Tillamook County Sheriff's office

The suspect was quickly identified as 18-year-old Brandon Jose Zavala-Satalich, 18, of Troutdale, who had fled the scene just prior to the arrival of law enforcement. Zavala-Satalich was armed with a gun, according to the sheriff's office, and had left on foot with a female juvenile.

A manhunt ensued and from about 4 a.m. through 11 a.m. the park was closed as authorities searched. A variety of jurisdictions were called in, and it was a K9 unit from Lincoln County that discovered the suspect. See Murder Investigation and Search Closes N. Oregon Coast Park for a Time Saturday

On the more pleasant but odd science side, a host of crab shells have had some beachgoers concerned.

Like clockwork they show up this time of year on the Oregon and Washington coastlines: bunches of crab shells that look like some massive die-off. You'll even see the legs and other parts appearing to be intact. It often alarms visitors, but it's a harmless natural event. In fact, it's good for the crabs. (Photos courtesy Seaside Aquarium)

Those crabs are not deceased – they've simply left the building. Their shells are empty because it's molting season for the female Dungeness crab. Late in the summer you'll see it again but at that time it's the male Dungeness that vacate their premises. In August, you'll see even more of them. See Another Oregon / Washington Coast Oddity: Bundles of Crab Shells on Beaches

Glass floats are making quite the splash. As the Finders Keepers glass floats return to the central Oregon coast, Lincoln City's visitor center, Explore Lincoln City, is now hosting a vacation giveaway for its seven miles of sands. Lovers of Lincoln City can win a three-night stay at a lovely vacation home called Knot a Care, complimentary meals at The Grub's On and The Mist at Surftides and glass fusion lesson at Mor Art.

Now you have an added reason to go look for one of those iconic glass floats: finding one and registering it enters you into the contest. See Find a Glass Float, Win Three Nights on Central Oregon Coast 

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