Gun totin, conspiracy-believing vigilantes threaten drivers in wildfire-stricken Oregon.
Gun totin', conspiracy-believing vigilantes threaten drivers in wildfire-stricken Oregon. Nathan Howard / 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 and authorities had some promising and disturbing news to share at their wildfire press conference today. Promising: The new cooler, moist weather system moving through the state is helping firefighters make real progress on containing Oregon's many blazes. Disturbing: Rains won't be coming until Thursday, and even then the heavy, hazardous smoke that hangs over the region could be with us through the late part of the week. Read this and lots more details here.

• While the hazardous smoke is causing real harm, there are those in the state who are suffering much worse—and if you'd like to help them, we've compiled a great list of vetted organizations that will take your donations and get them to the people who them most.

• On Saturday, Oregon's Fire Marshal was put on leave and then resigned after going into the Santiam Canyon's evacuation zone to search for an employee's family.

• Also put on leave this weekend was a Clackamas County deputy who who was caught on video spreading absolutely false conspiracy theories that blamed Antifa for setting wildfires. And as it turned out? He's not the only one. Capt. Jeff Smith of the county's sheriff's office told their city council the same bunch of lies.

• Speaking of how right-wing conspiracy theories can put innocent people's lives in danger: While on assignment in Estacada, Oregon, Portland photographer Nathan Howard was stopped by men with rifles who accused him of being a looter, and threatened his life before he escaped.


• Once again defying all reasonable thought, today President Trump said that climate change has nothing to do with the spate of wildfires sweeping the west coast, and blamed the states for mismanaging FEDERAL land. (He does know that he's effectively in charge of federal land, right? Nope. He does not.)

• Trump crony Michael Caputo, spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, was heard on video this weekend desperately spouting a number of conspiracy theories, including that federal employees are conspiring against the president, and that Democrats are planning on overthrowing the government on inauguration day.

Trump held another of his indoor superspreader rallies on Sunday, this time in Nevada where he told a maskless throng of minions that the United States has nearly defeated COVID-19. (This level of irony is no longer amusing.)

• Knowing full well that Trump and the Republicans are going to do anything they can to upend the election in November, Joe Biden is putting together a legal team to battle the cheaters in court.

• The mayor of Rochester, New York has relieved the city's police chief of his duties for his involvement in holding back information on the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who suffocated after the cops placed a "spitting hood" over his head.

• To avoid a Trump ban, TikTok has chosen American company Oracle to be their savior... but no one knows what the exact terms are for this mysterious deal.

Hurricane Sally is currently bearing down on the Mississippi coast with a "life-threatening surge" that could grow to 11 feet while dumping massive amounts of rain.

• Scientists are downright giddy over the discovery of mysterious gasses on Venus which could be indicator of life on the planet. (If there is life on Venus, can I make one small suggestion? DON'T GIVE THEM FACEBOOK!!)

• The WEATHER REPORT: Expect a high of 72 and a possibility of showers tomorrow, but don't build up your hopes too high.

• And finally, here is an animal representation of everyone on Twitter: