KWSO News for Mon., Aug. 1, 2022

Extreme heat and thunderstorms are still passing through the Northwest, and with that, there have been new wildfires across Oregon with a Gigantic blaze on the border of Oregon and California to new wildfires in the southern and central Cascade Range all the way up to Sisters and the Lake Billy Chinook area. The resulting smoke has brought air quality down and red flag warnings have been issued through much of the eastern, southwest and central parts of the state through tonight. As reported by the Statesman Journal, the recently ignited Fly Creek Fire is estimated at 30 acres in the balancing rocks area northeast of Camp Sherman and has brought evacuations in the Perry South and Monty campgrounds on a level 3 order from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. A level 2 evacuation notice was issued for the Three Rivers, while the Cove Palisades at Lake Billy Chinook has not been evacuated according to state parks officials.

Wildfires fed by windy and hot conditions have grown dramatically in California and Montana, forcing evacuation orders for over 100 homes. In northern California, the fast-moving McKinney fire tore across an estimated 28 square miles by Saturday morning after starting Friday in Klamath National Forest. California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Saturday as the fire intensified. Meanwhile in Montana, a wildfire doubled in size to more than 6 square miles near the town of Elmo and Flathead Lake. Roughly 200 miles to the south, Idaho residents remained under evacuation orders as the Moose Fire in the Salmon-Challis National Forest burned more than 67 square miles of timbered land near the town of Salmon.

Seattle and Portland, set records Sunday for most consecutive days of high temperatures and authorities in Oregon investigated more possible heat-related deaths. In Seattle, the temperature rose to 91 Fahrenheit by early afternoon, the record sixth straight day the mercury rose above 90. In Portland, Oregon, on Sunday temperatures rose above 95 for the seventh day in a row, a record for the city for consecutive days above that mark. In Oregon, the state Medical Examiner’s Office said Sunday it was investigating 10 deaths as possibly heat related. In the Portland area temperatures have risen above 100 several times over the past week.

The three candidates for governor debated how to manage Oregon forests, how to solve the housing crisis and the future of abortion rights in the state in their first debate Friday. Lauren Dake has more. “Former Democratic state Senator Betsy Johnson, who is trying to make the November ballot as an unaffiliated candidate, said she supports access to abortion. JOHNSON CUT: I am pro choice. I have been on a Planned parenthood board before Tina moved to Oregon But Johnson said Oregon taxpayer dollars should not be used to help support pregnant people coming from other states for abortion services. Christine Drazan, the Republican candidate, said Oregon has the most extreme abortion laws in the country. And although she is anti-abortion, Drazan said she would enforce the current laws. Former House Speaker Tina Kotek, the Democratic nominee, was instrumental in codifying the right to abortion in Oregon’s constitution.”

Across the U.S., state lottery systems use that revenue to boost education, tourism, transportation and much more. Now that the giant Mega Millions lottery jackpot has ballooned to more than $1 billion, state officials are hoping increased national interest in securing the top prize will result in more funding for their own causes. However, critics of these lottery-funded programs note that lower-income players foot the bill for benefits they won’t proportionately reap. And the Mega Millions’ drawing comes as Americans are experiencing a decades-high inflation, leaving many with fewer dollars to throw on entertainment. Some states are already experiencing dips in sales with their lotteries.

KWSO Weather for Central Oregon:

  • Partly Sunny and Hot today with isolated showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and a high near 104 degrees
  • Tonight, Mostly Cloudy with isolated showers and thunderstorms and a low around 66
  • Mostly Sunny and Hot tomorrow with a high near 100 degrees

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