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Just one shot of the widespread wildfire destruction in Phoenix, Oregon.
Just one shot of the widespread wildfire destruction in Phoenix, Oregon. David Ryder / Getty News

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Last time that we had this conversation I decided we should be friends. But now, we're going 'round in circles—tell me will this deja vu never end? LET'S GO TO PRESS.

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• Let's start off with some good wildfire news: Two of the major fires in Oregon, one in Marion and the other in Clackamas County, have not merged YET as state officials feared. But only 5 percent of the state's wildfires are contained, and a majority of Clackamas County (just a few miles out of Portland) is under evacuation order. Currently Multnomah County has no evacuation warnings or advisories—though officials are asking residents to keep an eye on what's happening in Clackamas. Raging fires are also spreading in Marion and Lane Counties. (Also CLIMATE CHANGE.) Check out what the governor and fire officials had to say yesterday afternoon here, and stay tuned to the Mercury today for more updates!

• In response to the spread of wildfires, Mayor Ted Wheeler has closed all city-owned parks (including forested areas) until September 24.

• Currently the air quality in Portland remains at a "hazardous" level and heavy smoke is expected to hang on in Portland into the weekend. So check out these helpful tips for taking care of your precious lungs!

• Speaking of lung hazards, Mayor Ted Wheeler, after months of requests from activists, has finally banned Portland Police from using CS gas (a commonly used tear gas) on protesters. Our Alex Zielinski has more details on why the mayor made this decision now rather than three months ago.

• In an absolutely ridiculous poll—which only consisted of 500 people, most of whom don't even live in Multnomah County—a majority of respondents said that Portland Police should be using more force on protesters, not less. (Sooooo... I guess since beatings, gassing, and less lethal bullets aren't enough, they should move on to actual bullets for the crime of expressing First Amendment rights?)

• Related, and because some people will believe absolutely ANYTHING: Law enforcement around the state were forced to push back against QAnon rumors that Antifa was to blame for the forest fires around the state. (While it's probably more fun to believe idiotic rumors, may we posit another cause of wildfires... also known as CLIMATE CHANGE?)

• Nearly a year later, the mother of Portland protest activist Sean Kealiher is still seeking answers about the death of her son, the victim of a mysterious hit and run near Cider Riot last October. Our Alex Zielinski has more.

IN NATIONAL NEWS:

• A wildfire north of Sacramento is the biggest blaze in California's history—and could get bigger. (Also CLIMATE CHANGE.)

• Today Americans are commemorating the 3,000 lives that were lost during the 9/11 attacks. In years to come, will we also remember the 196,000 Americans that were killed (so far) by coronavirus and Trump's willful inaction?

• Trump is now claiming he never lied about the severity of coronavirus to the American people after revealing that he clearly did to reporter Bob Woodward. Though of course he did lie, and on many, many occasions.

• In campaign news, Republican bigwigs and donors are beginning to fret as Trump's staff pulls their TV ads out of critical markets out of fear they're going to run out of money.

• The Kentucky Attorney General is expected to present evidence to a grand jury as early as next week in the case of Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police after they broke into her apartment.

• The Trump administration was blocked by federal judges yesterday from excluding undocumented immigrants from the census, which would help decide how many congresspeople each state receives. Naturally, Trump and his corrupt minions plan to appeal the decision.

• According to Microsoft, the same organization of Russians who interfered with the 2016 election are at it again, hacking into the computer systems of "more than 200 organizations including political parties and consultants."

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• The WEATHER REPORT: Smoky skies continue through Saturday with a high today of 83.

• And finally, here is your periodic reminder that SKATEBOARDING IS NOT A CRIME. (Especially in this case.)

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