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A burned vehicle and destroyed structures caused by the Dixie Fire, near Highway 89 in Indian Falls, California, on Monday. Photo: David Odisho/Getty Images

Over 12,000 people in eight California counties are under wildfire evacuation evacuation orders — most impacted by America's biggest blaze, the Dixie Fire.

The latest: The Dixie Fire, the second largest in California's history, was threatening Indian Valley homes near the fire-ravaged town of Greenville on Monday night. Images taken from the scene showed the blaze that's razed more than 482,000 acres creating its own weather overnight.

Sloan's Lake In Denver on Tuesday amid poor air quality due to smoke from California wildfires mixed with elevated ozone pollution. Colorado also has a large wildfire burning, the Sylvan Fire, near Eagle, west of Denver. Photo: RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty

Threat level: Smoke from 108 large fires in the West has reduced air quality in the eastern U.S. this week, with places including New York City, Iowa and Minnesota experiencing hazy skies.

  • Air quality in Denver has been particularly bad, with smoke from California's 11 large fires traveling some 1,000 miles. The Colorado city has this week recorded some of the worst air quality in the world.
  • Firefighters across the West also now face the threat of another extreme heat wave this week.

Context: A sweeping new report from the UN's IPCC concludes: "Human influence on the climate system is now an established fact."

For the record: The Dixie Fire has destroyed 873 buildings since igniting on July 14 and was 22% contained. Cal Fire doesn't expect containment until Aug. 30.

  • Heavy smoke from the blaze abated earlier Monday, enabling aircraft to help join firefighting efforts, AP notes. By Monday night, the wildfire was raging along the Moonlight fire burn scar.
  • Plumas County Sheriff's Office officials said at a Monday evening briefing that four people listed as unaccounted for had been found.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of the Dixie Fire's threat to Indian Valley homes.

Go deeper

Cheaper real estate lures Californians to Texas

A for-sale sign outside an Austin-area home. Photo: Ed Lallo/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Just as it seems every Californian and her brother are moving to Central Texas, a recent study compares the economic policies of California and Texas and how they affect quality of life.

Why it matters: The two most populous states in the country have long epitomized contrasting ideas about government, including policies on taxes, regulation and, more recently, pandemic response.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.