Oak Fire near Yosemite National Park grows to one of California’s largest wildfires in 2022
The Oak Fire, one of California’s biggest wildfires this year, continues to rage Monday, after forcing thousands to flee. The blaze near Yosemite National Park burned out of control, exploding to over 14,000 acres on Sunday. The Oak Fire erupted Friday in Mariposa County, near the small town of Midpines. The fire was 0% contained as of Sunday afternoon, according to Cal Fire. The 2,000 firefighters battling the blaze will encounter tough conditions including low humidity, high temperatures, and steep terrain, Cal Fire said. The agency also dispatched 17 helicopters, 225 fire engines, 58 dozers, and 23 water tenders to fight the Oak Fire. Twelve miles east, firefighters made progress against the Washburn Fire near Yosemite that threatened the park’s largest and most iconic sequoia grove. The Washburn Fire was 80% contained after two weeks of firefighting.
Some cruise lines change COVID requirements following end of CDC program
Following the end of the CDC COVID-19 Program for cruise ships July 18, Azamara announced it will drop its COVID-19 embarkation testing rule on Monday, “excluding ports where it is still required in accordance with country regulations,” according to a news release. Azamara recommends that all guests departing from any port get tested at their leisure prior to travel, but those results will not be required to board the firm’s vessels. Azamara will continue to require proof of vaccination, though. The CDC said on its website that it will keep giving testing recommendations for cruise ship operators, and that vessels will keep reporting cases to the agency.
‘Extremely oppressive’ heat in Northeast turns deadly
A cold front approaching the Northeast on Monday should bring some milder temperatures after an “extremely oppressive” heat wave intensified in the Northeast Sunday, leading to at least two heat-related deaths. Boston broke a daily record high temperature Sunday and New York City and Philadelphia may follow as well. More than 85 million Americans faced excessive heat warnings and advisories Sunday from the Southern Plains to the Northeast, according to a National Weather Service statement. Several major metros throughout the Northeast have put excessive heat measures into effect in attempt to keep residents cool. Philadelphia extended its heat health emergency declaration through Sunday, sending workers to check on those who are unhoused and other vulnerable residents.
Pope Francis to apologize for abuses against Indigenous peoples in Canada
Pope Francis is scheduled to meet Monday with survivors of abuses by missionaries at residential schools in Canada, where he is expected to deliver an apology. Francis began a fraught visit to Canada over the weekend to apologize to Indigenous people for the abuses, a key step in the Catholic Church’s efforts to reconcile with Native communities and help them heal from generations of trauma. Indigenous groups are seeking more than just words, though, as they press for access to church archives to learn the fate of children who never returned home from the residential schools. They also want justice for the abusers, financial reparations and the return of Indigenous artifacts held by the Vatican Museums. Francis’ weeklong trip follows meetings he held in the spring at the Vatican with delegations from the First Nations, Metis and Inuit, which culminated with a historic apology for abuses committed by some Catholic missionaries in residential schools.
Mega Millions $ 790 million is fourth-highest lottery jackpot ever
For Tuesday’s drawing, the jackpot has risen to $ 790 million, with a cash option of $ 464.4 million – the third-highest Mega Millions jackpot ever and the fourth-highest jackpot of any game, according to the Mega Millions website. The current Mega Millions jackpot rose after no ticket in Friday’s drawing matched all six numbers. So far, the biggest Mega Millions jackpot this year was $ 426 million, won January 28 in California.