Firefighters in Clackamas County prepare as residents evacuate.
Firefighters in Clackamas County prepare as residents evacuate. David Ryder / Getty News

Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)

Gov. Brown gave a second press conference today to provide updates on the multiple wildfires that are sweeping through Oregon. There was good news and bad news: The bad news is that in the past three days, 900,000 acres have burned across the state. (For comparison, 500,000 acres burn in an average year.) Brown said Oregonians have "never seen this much uncontained fire across the state." As of today, 30-40,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, and unstable air conditions and unpredictable movement of the fires are making it difficult for firefighters to respond to the blazes. Brown also cryptically noted that these wildfires could become the new normal, since Oregon (and the world) are "feeling the acute impacts of climate change." The most dangerous situation right now are the fires in Clackamas County south of Portland where authorities are monitoring it for "explosive fire behavior." Evacuation of Clackamas County has expanded to the town of Mollala, Oregon, and the area outside of Hillsboro (to the west of Portland) is also being watched with much concern.

• The GOOD NEWS (such as it is): Doug Grafe, Chief of Fire Protection at the Oregon Department of Forestry, says firefighters have made significant progress in battling back some of the blazes on the east and southern side of Oregon, and in those cases they are now able to switch from "life safety to fire prevention." Further success depends on the winds stopping tonight.

• Hazardous smoke is blanketing the west side of Oregon, making air conditions very dangerous for those already coping with health risks. Since heavy smoke is expected to hang on in Portland into the weekend, 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.

• Kristina Narayan, the legislative director for Opregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, was arrested on three (checks notes) bullshit charges by Portland Police for just being near a recent protest, and Kotek IS NOT HAVING IT.

• Update on the man who allegedly killed a Patriot Prayer member during a Portland protest: According to a witness, the law enforcement officers who shot Michael Reinoehl outside a Washington apartment did not issue a warning before killing him.

• 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.

• Yesterday Portland City Council passed the nation's strictest ban on facial recognition technology barring its use in city bureaus as well as those in the private sector, in an attempt to protect individual privacy and communities of color.


• Mitch McConnell's ridiculously meager coronavirus relief package went down in flames today when Democrats laughed it off the Senate floor for failing to provide necessary protections and aid to Americans.

• Trump is making increasingly desperate moves to counteract his absolutely disastrous interview with reporter Bob Woodward in which he admitted that he knew COVID-19 was deadly and airborne in February, but refused to warn Americans about it.

• Sen. Lindsay Graham is fending off attacks from Republicans and Fox News for orchestrating what turned out to be those absolutely disastrous interviews between reporter Bob Woodward and Trump. In related news: HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!

• Meanwhile, Trump is trying to put that absolutely disastrous interview behind him by attending a COVID-filled campaign rally in Michigan, where he'll be facing a crowd of unmasked worshippers who don't mind that his inaction led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans, including some of their friends and relatives.

• 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."

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

• And finally, you probably need some good news... so here's some!