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PM News Brief: COVID-19 Vaccination Goal, Pack Creek Evacuations & Rudy Gobert Wins Again

A photo of small bottles labeled 'COVID-19 Vaccine' and a needle.
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Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson reiterated the state’s COVID-19 vaccination goal Thursday. This story and more in this evening's news brief.

Thursday evening, June 10, 2021

State

Weather Making It Hard To Fight Wildfires

Five large fires in Utah have started in the last week, they’ve each burned over 400 acres so far. Hot, dry windy conditions have fanned the flames making suppression efforts difficult. Firefighters are battling flames they aren’t used to seeing until the late summer. Geoff Liesik is a public information officer for the Bear Fire, which has burned over 5,000 acres in Carbon County. He said the hot weather and high winds are drying out fuels quickly. The Mammoth Fire has burned around 700 acres in Garfield County and has forced evacuations. Bobbi Filbert is a PIO for it, and said when it comes to getting resources to control blazes, they are in a good spot for now. Read the full story.Lexi Peery, St. George

Reaching Utah’s COVID-19 Vaccination Goal

Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson reiterated the state’s COVID-19 vaccination goal Thursday. She wants 70% of adults to have at least one dose of a vaccine by July 4. Right now, only about 48% of all Utahns have received one dose. To meet the goal, Henderson is asking employers to get involved. “It's time for businesses to start offering incentives to their employees,” Henderson said. “Like paid time off to get the vaccination or recover from side effects. We encourage businesses to be bold and to be generous when it comes to offering these incentives.” Utah health officials reported 313 new cases of COVID Thursday. The state’s positivity rate has climbed to 4.3% — slightly up compared to last week. — Tess Roundy

Northern Utah

Utah Jazz Players Making An Impact On And Off The Court

Utah Jazz player Jordan Clarkson is pitching in to help restore a Layton-based food truck. The Yum Yum Asian food truck was recently vandalized with racist language. Clarkson tweeted saying he knows the pain that racist and hateful words can cause. Meanwhile, Jazz player Rudy Gobert won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award. It’s the third time in his career he’s brought home the hardware. Utah faces the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday at 8 p.m. at Vivint Arena. It’s game two in the second round of the playoffs. The Jazz won the first game of the series Tuesday night. — Ross Terrell

Salt Lake City Police Shooting

Salt Lake City police shot and killed a man Thursday morning after he allegedly stabbed a woman near Pioneer Park in downtown. Police Chief Mike Brown said bystanders and first responders from the fire department gave the woman first aid. As of this afternoon, she’s in critical condition at a hospital. Brown said the suspect charged officers with the knife. Officers then shot him. Body cam footage will be released in 10 business days. The West Valley Police Department will investigate the incident. — Emily Means

Southern Utah

Pack Creek Fire Forces Community Evacuation

All homes in the Pack Creek community south of Moab have been evacuated due to a wildfire. The Pack Creek fire is estimated to be at 400 acres as of Thursday morning. It’s 0% contained. Officials said ground crews had to back off due to extreme fire behavior. So far, one structure has been destroyed. The blaze started after a campfire was left unattended. — Ross Terrell

Region/Nation

Rep. John Curtis Leading GOP Charge On Climate Change

Rep. John Curtis, R-UT, is spearheading a new climate caucus for conservative lawmakers in Congress. It will educate them about the science of climate change and explore conservative-minded solutions. The caucus is supported and organized with the help of a group of young, conservative climate activists. — Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

Lake Mead Drops To Historic Low

Lake Mead along the Arizona-Nevada state line is the lowest it’s been since 2016. The water’s surface dropped to the historic low on Wednesday. That’s prompting concerns about future water supply throughout the drought-stricken U.S. West Lake Mead is a key reservoir on the Colorado River and millions of people in the Mountain West rely on the river. It has also been declining amid a prolonged drought and climate change. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said the lake level is projected to continue falling until November, affecting recreation and hydropower efficiency. Already, water users in Arizona and Nevada are prepared to get less water in 2022 from the Colorado River. — Associated Press