Crews make progress on huge Oregon wildfire, homes threatened in California

The nation’s largest wildfire raged through southern Oregon on Friday, but crews were scaling back some night operations as hard work and weaker winds helped reduce the spread of flames even as wildfires continued to threaten homes in neighboring California.

In Montana, five firefighters remained hospitalized a day after a thunderstorm and swirling winds blew a lightning-caused wildfire back on them, federal officials said.

The five had joined other crews working on the 1,300-acre Devil’s Creek fire burning in rough, steep terrain near the rural town of Jordan. The firefighters were building a defensive line Thursday when the weather shifted, Bureau of Land Management spokesperson Mark Jacobsen said.

Jacobsen declined to release the extent of the firefighters’ injuries but said they were still being evaluated and treated Friday. The firefighters included three U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service crew members from North Dakota and two USDA Forest Service firefighters from New Mexico.

The blaze is among a number burning across the U.S. West, where extremely dry conditions and recent heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight.

In Oregon, the Bootleg Fire has destroyed an area half the size of Rhode Island. It was 40% surrounded after burning some 70 homes, mainly cabins, fire officials said. At least 2,000 homes were ordered evacuated at some point during the fire, and an additional 5,000 were threatened.

The upper eastern edge of the fire continued to move toward Summer Lake, jumping fire lines Thursday and prompting an evacuation order for some portions of Lake County to be raised to “Go now!” fire officials said.

Winds up to 10 mph (16 kph) could drive the flames through timber but not at the pace seen last week, when the wind-driven blaze grew exponentially, fire information officer Angela Goldman said.

The fire, which was ignited by lightning, had been expanding by up to 4 miles (6 kilometers) a day, pushed by strong winds and critically dry weather.

Source: Crews make progress on huge Oregon wildfire, homes threatened in California

Man dies after being shot in SE Portland, police say – oregonlive.com

A man was shot and killed overnight in Southeast Portland, police said Saturday.

Officers responded about 1 a.m. to a report of someone shot in the street near 132nd Avenue and Center Street, according to Portland police. They found the man suffering from an apparent gunshot wound.

He was taken to a hospital, where he later died.

Police have not publicly identified the man, who is one of 36 people killed in Portland homicides this year. That figure includes a fatal police shooting at Southeast Portland’s Lents Park last month.

No one has been arrested in the man’s death.

Police urge anyone who has information to contact Detective Joseph Corona (Joseph.Corona@portlandoregon.gov; 503-823-0508) or Detective Anthony Merrill (Anthony.Merrill@portlandoregon.gov; 503-823-4033.)

Source: Man dies after being shot in SE Portland, police say – oregonlive.com

National Guard deploys as 40,000 still without power in northwest Oregon – oregonlive.com

 

Days of snow and ice brought down power lines and damaged utility equipment across northwest Oregon, causing extensive power outages that have lasted for over a week in some areas.

Portland General Electric, the state’s largest provider of electricity, said the number of outages reflects ongoing challenges including the “discovery of both more extensive damage to our equipment than expected as well as previously assessed damage.”

Source: National Guard deploys as 40,000 still without power in northwest Oregon – oregonlive.com

NASA was sold faulty aluminum in 19-year scam – CNET

NASA on Tuesday revealed that a pair of failed missions were caused by a 19-year aluminum scam.

The space agency previously said the 2009 Orbiting Carbon Observatory and 2011 Glory missions malfunctioned when the protective nose cones on the Taurus XL rockets failed to separate on command.

However, a joint investigation involving NASA and the Justice Department revealed that the problem was caused by aluminum extrusion maker Sapa Profiles, which falsified critical tests over 19 years.

Employees at the company’s Portland, Oregon, facilities tweaked failing tests so materials appeared to pass from 1996 to 2015, according to the Justice Department.

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Source: NASA was sold faulty aluminum in 19-year scam – CNET