Photo: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

A wave of cooler temperatures and humidity is quelling the wildfires that spread across California in recent weeks, allowing thousands of evacuated residents to return to their homes, AP reports.

The big picture: At least seven people have died as hundred of wildfires burned 2,000 square miles. Approximately 170,000 residents were facing evacuation orders at the fires' peak.

  • Evacuation orders have been specifically lifted for approximately 50,000 residents in the San Francisco Bay Area and wine country, AP notes.
  • Electricity and water is still damaged in some areas, preventing safe homecomings for some.
  • Firefighting crews have been stretched thin by the destruction, resulting in 200 active duty U.S. troops being mobilized in the state.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Sep 16, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Fighting fire with fire

A firefighter works on the scene of a wildfire in California on Sept. 15. Photo: Ringo Chiu/AFP via Getty Images

The catastrophic wildfires in parts of the West are a product of climate change, but also decades of failure to use controlled fire to reduce fuel load.

Why it matters: Warming temperatures in the years ahead will only intensify the climatic conditions that can lead to massive wildfires. That puts more pressure to scale up land management techniques that can clear overgrown forests before they ignite.

Updated 43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 30,804,120 — Total deaths: 957,348— Total recoveries: 21,062,785Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 6,766,631 — Total deaths: 199,268 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning
  4. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  6. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

America’s rapid and urgent transition to online school has come with a host of unforeseen consequences that are only getting worse as it continues into the fall.

The big picture: The issues range from data privacy to plagiarism, and schools are ill-equipped to deal with them, experts say.