Heavy smoke rising from the Cameron Peak fire near Fort Collins, Colorado, on Oct. 5. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Cameron Peak Fire near Fort Collins, Colorado, is now the largest wildfire in the state's recorded history, burning more than 173,000 acres.

Why it matters: Over 1,300 personnel are currently responding to the fire, which is 57% contained. Mandatory evacuations are in place in parts of Larimer County and northern Colorado is under several fire danger alerts due to low humidity and high winds.

The state of play: The fire has burned at least 100 structures since igniting on August 13, driven by high winds and critically dry fuels.

  • The fire is believed to been caused by human activity, but is under investigation, the Coloradoan reports.
  • Smoke from the fire is expected to spread east into northeastern Colorado, southwestern Nebraska and eventually northwestern Kansas, per ABC News.

Zoom out: California has also seen a record-breaking wildfire season. The state's August Complex torched more than 471,000 acres.

Go deeper

Oct 17, 2020 - Science

NOAA estimates damage from August derecho at $7.5 billion

Grain bins damaged from the derecho in Marshalltown, Iowa, in August. Photo: Daniel Acker/Getty Images

The derecho that struck parts of Iowa and Indiana on August 10 resulted in roughly $7.5 billion in damages, per an October update to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric's database of billion-dollar weather disasters.

Why it matters: Based on that estimate, the Corn Belt storm complex was the most economically devastating thunderstorm event in U.S. history, though its losses are still being tallied, so the total may be revised in the future, per the Washington Post.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
4 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.