Jun 15, 2018

Colorado's 416 fire grows to 33,000 acres, just 18% contained

Colorado state patrol officers help maintain road closures on County Road 205 on June 12, 2018 in Durango, Colorado. Credit: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

A wildfire burning in southwest Colorado's San Juan National Forest has grown to about 33,000 acres, as more than 1,100 firefighters battle the blaze. The fire, which began on June 1, has forced officials to close the forest for the first time in its 113-year history, the Denver Post reported.

Why it matters: The fire is one of dozens of blazes burning across the West, from Colorado to California. Portions of the Southwest are mired in an "exceptional drought," which is the worst possible category on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

What's new: Desperately needed moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Bud is streaming into the region, and showers and thunderstorms are predicted for the weekend, but drought conditions are projected to continue through the summer.

  • Parts of the state received below average snowfall this winter, and that snow pack had melted away by early spring, allowing vegetation to dry out.

Yes, but: While any rains will be welcome for evacuated residents and firefighters, thunderstorms could spark new blazes. Colorado officials have warned residents to expect one of the most severe wildfire seasons on record, possibly rivaling that of 2012, when parts of Colorado Springs burned in a fast-moving blaze.

Go deeper: Read the Denver Post's coverage of the 416 fire.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,014,673 — Total deaths: 52,973 — Total recoveries: 210,335Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 244,678 — Total deaths: 5,911 — Total recoveries: 9,058Map.
  3. 2020 updates: The Democratic National Committee said its July convention will be postponed until August because of the coronavirus. A federal judge declined to delay Wisconsin's April 7 primary election.
  4. Jobs latest: Coronavirus unemployment numbers are like a natural disaster hitting every state.
  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci called for all states across the U.S. to issue stay-at-home orders. The FDA will allow blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. Business latest: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said oil companies are eligible for aid from new lending programs the Federal Reserve is setting up, but not direct loans from his department.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Navy removes captain of aircraft carrier who sounded alarm about coronavirus.
  8. 1 future thing: In developing countries, consequences of COVID-19 could be deeper and far more difficult to recover from.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Mark Meadows considers new White House press secretary

Photos: Alyssa Farah, Defense Department; Stephanie Grisham, Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kayleigh McEnany, Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has privately discussed bringing on Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah or Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany as a new White House press secretary, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Meadows' start on Tuesday as Trump's new chief — and televised coronavirus briefings that feature President Trump himself — present a chance to overhaul a press shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

CNN: Fauci advises all states issue stay-at-home orders

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci recommended on Thursday that all states across the U.S. implement stay-at-home orders, at a CNN town hall.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.