American Scene: Firefighters battle new blaze as weather eases in West

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BOISE — Efforts to contain a large wildfire in southern Idaho by Sunday evening were dashed as winds picked up and the region’s grass and sagebrush provided readily available fuel for a blaze estimated at 117 square miles.

But conditions improved elsewhere in the West, helping crews gain ground on wildfires in Colorado and Utah.

The fast-moving fire west of Twin Falls, Idaho, was first spotted Saturday afternoon and grew to 75,000 acres within 24 hours.

“They had winds today that were kind of making it difficult to get a handle on it,” Kyli Gough with the Bureau of Land Management told the Associated Press. “They’re not expecting containment tonight.”

In fire-ravaged Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper said Sunday that cool, wet weather allowed him to lift the statewide fire ban he ordered last month. The governor gave thanks to Mother Nature for “finally giving us some relief” as extreme fire conditions have abated in all of Colorado’s 64 counties.

MICHIGAN

Hugging a police officer costs woman her life

DETROIT — A woman celebrating the weekend before her 25th birthday was fatally shot Sunday when she hugged an off-duty police officer at a party, causing the officer’s service weapon to fire, according to police and her mother.

Adaisha Miller would have turned 25 on Monday, according to her mother, Yolanda McNair.

The shooting happened at an outdoor social gathering on the city’s west side about 12:30 a.m., said police Sgt. Even Stephens.

According to Sgt. Stephens, the woman “embraced the officer from behind, causing the holstered weapon to accidentally discharge.” The bullet punctured Ms. Miller’s lung and hit her heart, and she died at a hospital.

Sgt. Stephens said the Detroit officer will remain on administrative duties while authorities investigate the shooting. The officer’s name was not released.

NEW YORK

Journal refutes earlier study on arsenic-based life

NEW YORK — It was a provocative finding: strange bacteria in a California lake that thrived on something completely unexpected arsenic.

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