UNDATED (AP) — Firefighters battling the West Coast wildfires say this year’s blazes are some of the worst they have ever seen. They say the fires are taxing the human, mechanical and financial resources of the nation’s wildfire-fighting forces to an extraordinary degree. And half of the fire season is yet to come. Heat, drought and a strategic decision to attack the flames early have combined with the coronavirus to put a historically heavy burden on fire teams. Justin Silvera is a battalion chief with California’s state firefighting agency and says new fires break out before existing ones are contained.
MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say Grants Pass police shot a man who is now in critical condition at a hospital. The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety says several of its officers fired at Jonny James Wednesday morning. Authorities say police responded to a home that was under construction where James had challenged a man, resulting in a scuffle. Authorities say James fled into a nearby yard and made statements about harming himself while trying to stab himself with a gardening tool. Authorities say despite officers attempts to deescalate the situation, three officers shot James as he rushed them with the garden tool. Authorities are investigating.
UNDATED (AP) — A fire incident report says downed power lines sparked at least 13 fires during a period of high winds last week between two Oregon communities. The report from the Northwest Interagency Fire Coordination Center says the fire ignited between Mehama and Detroit during peak winds on Sept. 7. It doesn’t say to what extent those fire starts affected a larger, separate blaze that started on Aug. 16. Regulators say they have no information attributing a “specific wildfire to any specific Oregon utility.”
UNDATED (AP) — The smoke from dozens of wildfires in the western United States is stretching clear across the country — and even pushing into Mexico, Canada and Europe. While the dangerous plumes are forcing people inside along the West Coast, residents thousands of miles away in the East are seeing unusually hazy skies and remarkable sunsets. The sun was transformed into a perfect orange orb as it set over New York City on Tuesday. On Wednesday, New Jersey residents described a yellow tinge to the overcast skies. Experts say the smoke poses less of a health concern for those who are farther away.