Hot air balloon causes stir at Oregon prison

WILSONVILLE, Ore. (KOIN) — A hot air balloon made an unexpected landing at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility Thursday afternoon.

Vickie Reynolds with Coffee Creek told KOIN 6 News the balloon was low on fuel and was trying to land in a field across the street, but the wind blew it into the parking lot at the prison. The prison was then put on lockdown for about 30 minutes until the balloon could be cleared.

The balloonist, Randall Fuehrer, owns and operates Outback Balloon in McMinnville. He's been flying for 30 years and a balloonist for more than a decade.

Susan Cunningham, the crew chief for the balloonist, told KOIN 6 News it was not an emergency landing for Fuehrer and his two passengers.

She said they received permission to land on the access road shortly before the landing took place.

A hot air balloon festival is underway in Tigard, though weather prevented any from taking off on Friday.


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