Evening Newscast: Thursday, August 31

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So far this year, more than 1,500 fires have burned 937 square miles in Montana. The fires have already drained the state's firefighting reserve fund and an emergency fund, and there is no end in sight for the hot, dry weather that the fires are feeding on.

Authorities have removed 20 dogs from a Wyoming house after an animal control officer noticed them suffering from a variety of ailments, including dehydration and malnutrition.

A former Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper has appealed the 15-year prison sentence he received in 2009. Franklin Ryle filed his appeal recently in US District Court. Ryle was sent to prison after pleading guilty to violating the civil rights of a man he kidnapped in January 2009.

A bipartisan governor duo is urging Congress to stabilize individual health insurance markets and keep the federal health care law's individual mandate while lawmakers continue to work on a long-term replacement law. The recommendation is part of a plan that Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, sent to congressional leaders Thursday. The governors of six states, including Montana’s Democratic Governor Steve Bullock, gave their endorsements.

According to a Drought Monitor Report released today, 1/4 of Montana is in Exceptional Drought, and 2/3rds are experiencing Severe Drought, or worse.