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The Camp Fire east of Highway 70 near Yankee Hill, Calif. Photo: Karl Mondon/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images

The death toll from California's Camp Fire, the most destructive wildfire in the state's history, has risen to 48, the New York Times reports.

Our thought bubble: Axios' Andrew Freedman explains that the fire has destroyed much of the town of Paradise, about 90 miles north of Sacramento, and the toll is likely to rise further. "Already an all-time state record, it raises questions about how to warn people of a new type of fast-moving, rapidly spreading wildfire of the sort California and other areas are seeing more of as climate change, land use, and population growth combine to raise risk."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 mins ago - Economy & Business

Tesla's wild rise and European plan

Tesla's market capitalization blew past $500 billion for the first time Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's just a number, but kind of a wild one. Consider, via CNN: "Tesla is now worth more than the combined market value of most of the world's major automakers: Toyota, Volkswagen, GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and its merger partner PSA Group."

Dave Lawler, author of World
44 mins ago - World

China's Xi Jinping congratulates Biden on election win

Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to President-elect Biden on Wednesday to congratulate him on his election victory, according to the Xinhua state news agency.

Why it matters: China's foreign ministry offered Biden a belated, and tentative, congratulations on Nov. 13, but Xi had not personally acknowledged Biden's win. The leaders of Brazil, Mexico and Russia are among the very few leaders still declining to congratulate Biden.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
2 hours ago - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.