Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Aerial view of burnt properties in the Berryessa Highlands neighborhood of Lake Berryessa, California, on Aug. 31. Photo: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

The August Complex north of Sacramento is the biggest wildfire event in California history, burning more than 471,000 acres and surpassing 2018's Mendocino Complex fire, which burned more than 459,000 acres, according to state officials cited by the New York Times.

Why it matters: The August Complex, a collection of more than 30 separate blazes in the Mendocino National Forest, was started by a lightening storm. It has destroyed at least 26 structures and is responsible for one fatality to date. It is one of several major fires currently spread across the state.

  • Though it is the largest blaze by acres burned, it has been less ruinous than other recent fires. The 2018 Camp fire burned 18,000 structures and killed 85 people in the vicinity of Paradise, California.

The big picture: Since the start of 2020, wildfires have scorched more than 3.1 million acres across the state, killing 12 people and damaging more than 3,900 structures, according to Cal Fire. Roughly 14,000 firefighters are currently battling 29 major wildfires across California.

  • Wildfires across the state have forced more than 64,000 people to evacuate, Daniel Berlant, a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told the Times.

Context: Almost 50,000 wildfires blackened at least 4.6 million acres in the U.S. in 2019, about a 46% drop in acres burned and an 11% decrease in total fires from the 2018 fire season.

Go deeper

Over 300,000 Californians affected by PG&E blackouts

High tension towers in Los Angeles. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) announced Sunday that it would begin power shut-offs for roughly 361,000 California customers due to dry weather that could risk wildfire spread.

Where it stands: Cal Fire identified two new fire incidents late on Sunday that have spread through 70 acres. Two other major fires in the state are 80% and 30% contained.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.