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WESTERN WILDFIRES

Winds feed California’s largest fire as blazes scorch West

INDIAN FALLS, Calif. (AP) — It could be days before officials will be able to assess the damage California’s largest wildfire has done to a small town. Erratic winds and the potential for dry lightning added to the challenges facing crews battling the Dixie Fire, which roared through the remote community of Indian Falls over the weekend. Firefighters reported progress against the nation’s largest wildfire, the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon. It’s 53% contained. More than 85 large wildfires are burning across the country, most of them in Western states. 

WARMING RIVERS-DYING FISH

Warming rivers in US West killing fish, imperiling industry

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Baby salmon are dying by the thousands in one California river and an entire run of endangered salmon could be wiped out in another. Fishermen who make their living off adult salmon, once they enter the Pacific Ocean, are sounding the alarm as blistering heat waves and extended drought in the U.S. West raise water temperatures and imperil fish from Idaho to California. A crash in one year’s class of young salmon can have lasting effects on the total population and shorten or stop the fishing season. That could be devastating to the commercial salmon fishing industry, which in California alone is worth $1.4 billion. Fishermen say the high cost of salmon is already pricing some customers out.

AP-US-WESTERN-WILDFIRES

Winds stoke California’s largest fire as blazes scorch West

INDIAN FALLS, Calif. (AP) — Erratic winds and the potential for dry lightning added to the challenges facing crews battling California’s largest wildfire. It’s one of numerous blazes burning Monday across the U.S. West. The massive Dixie Fire in Northern California burned homes over the weekend in the tiny community of Indian Falls. An updated damage estimate was not available because it’s not safe for inspectors to go in. That blaze is 22% contained. Firefighters also reported progress against the nation’s largest wildfire, the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon. It’s 53% contained. Fires also burned in Washington, Idaho and Montana. 

VIRUS OUTBREAK-COUNTY MASKING

Oregon’s most populous county recommends masking

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Health officials in Oregon’s most populous county said Monday that they strongly recommend that people wear masks in all indoor public spaces regardless of vaccine status. Multnomah County officials said in news release that the advisory was issued in response to COVID-19 cases increasing largely because of the highly-contagious delta variant. Portland is in Multnomah County. Public Health Director Jessica Guernsey said action is needed to prevent an exponential rise in cases, especially in pockets with low vaccinations. She says masking is a step everyone can take now to protect children, others who cannot get the vaccine and to keep businesses open and move ahead with plans for the school year. 

DEPUTY KILLED

Slain sheriff’s detective posthumously promoted to sergeant

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A Clark County, Washington, sheriff’s detective who was fatally shot Friday was promoted to honorary sergeant. Clark County Sheriff Chuck made the announcement about 46-year-old Detective Jeremy Brown at a news conference Monday. Brown — a 15-year veteran of the sheriff’s office and detective with the Clark-Vancouver Drug Task Force — was fatally shot Friday evening while conducting surveillance on a group of people at an east Vancouver apartment complex. He was a military police officer in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1993 to 1995. All 3 suspects in the killing of the detective are in custody.

POLICE REFORM-WASHINGTON STATE

Confusion besets new police reform laws in Washington state

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state is embarking on a massive experiment in police reform and accountability following the racial justice protests that erupted after George Floyd’s murder last year, with nearly a dozen laws that took effect Sunday. But law enforcement officials remain uncertain about what they require, leading to discrepancies around the state in how officers might respond — or not respond — to certain situations, including active crime scenes and mental health crises. The legislation’s many provisions include bans on chokeholds, neck restraints and no-knock warrants. They require officers to intervene if their colleagues use excessive force, and they establish a new state agency to investigate police killings.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-COUNTIES MASK RECOMMENDATIONS

9 Western WA counties now recommend mask use indoors

SEATTLE (AP) — Health officials in more than a half-dozen Washington counties are recommending mask-wearing in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccine status because of a rise in COVID-19 cases and the highly infectious delta variant. Public Health Seattle & King County officials said Monday local health officers from around the Puget Sound region joined together in the recommendation after King County health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin issued such guidance on Friday. Officials in Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Clallam, Jefferson, San Juan and Grays Harbor counties are included. Skagit County Health Officer Howard Leibrand separately made that recommendation Monday as did officials in Multnomah County, Oregon. Washington state health officials say they support the local efforts.

LITHIUM MINE-NEVADA LAWSUIT

Judge refuses to block digging at lithium mine on NV-OR line

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A federal judge has denied environmentalists’ request for a court order temporarily blocking the government from digging trenches for archaeological surveys at a lithium mine planned near the Nevada-Oregon line. The proposed Thacker Pass mine is home to the biggest known U.S. deposit of lithium. U.S. District Judge Miranda Du said in a ruling late Friday in Reno that four conservation groups failed to prove the trenches across one-quarter acre would cause irreparable harm to sage grouse habitat. She plans to decide later this week whether a Nevada tribe can seek a similar injunction based on claims the digging would disturb sacred burial grounds.

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