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Smoke from the Ferguson Fire rises near Yosemite National Park in California. Credi: Blake Scott, National Park Service

The deadly Ferguson Fire is burning on the western edge of Yosemite National Park, shutting down one of the access roads during the height of the tourist season.

The big picture: Ferguson, which started Friday and has claimed the life of one firefighter, is one of 56 large fires currently burning across the country in a season that has already charred more than 3.3 million acres, slightly above the national average-to-date.

Threat level: As of Monday morning, the Ferguson Fire had burned 9,266 acres, and was just 2% contained. The weather forecast for the region does not bode well for firefighters, as continued hot weather with scattered thunderstorms is likely during the next week. While these storms could bring some beneficial rains, they're more likely to ignite new fires from lightning strikes.

Satellite image showing the Ferguson Fire (red) producing plumes of smoke on July 15, 2018. Credit: NASA Worldview

The fire's quick escalation was visible from space, with smoke pouring into the iconic park.

The wildfire's proximity to Yellowstone is particularly concerning for firefighters and the National Park Service since the smoke threatens to worsen air quality in the park and limit visibility. Depending on its growth, the Ferguson Fire could also block more entrance routes and work its way closer to the center of the park.

The bottom line: The Ferguson Fire is going to be extremely difficult to extinguish, since it's burning in rugged terrain where trees have been ravaged by drought and insect infestations, leaving a ready supply of fuel for the fire to burn.

  • Last year was California's worst wildfire season on record, and the state is going into the heart of its wildfire season mired in unusually dry and hot conditions.

Go deeper: "Wildfire season" in the West now rages all year long

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78.

Ina Fried, author of Login
24 mins ago - Technology

Intel CEO blames predecessors for manufacturing woes

Axios on HBO

When it comes to Intel's recent manufacturing problems, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger places the blame squarely on his predecessors — many of whom he notes were not engineers deeply steeped in chip technology, as he is.

Why it matters: Gelsinger has announced a broad plan to reinvigorate Intel by doubling down on manufacturing. However, the strategy depends on the venerable semiconductor giant recovering from recent stumbles.

Marketing to Generation Alpha

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Marketers are pouring money into figuring out the tastes and habits of Generation Alpha — kids born from 2010 through 2024 — who are unprecedented in the extent they're growing up online.

Why it matters: They're weaned on TikTok, Amazon and in-app purchases. They're learning from their millennial parents to hold brands accountable for causes like social justice and sustainability. And no prior age cohort will be as large in size or marketing power.