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Smoke blows from the Lava and Tenant Fires in Northern California on June 29, 2021. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

Fast-spreading wildfires across northern California are forcing thousands of residents to evacuate as firefighters work around the clock to battle the blazes.

Driving the news: The lightning-sparked Lava Fire in Siskiyou County has scorched more than 13,330 acres of land, expanding nearly tenfold since Monday, per the U.S. Forest Service.

  • Between 8,000 and 10,000 residents are under evacuation orders, county Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue told the Los Angeles Times.
  • Fueled by winds and hot temperatures, the Lava Fire continues to spread into steep and rugged terrain, and threatens to damage critical infrastructure, including rail lines.

The Tennant Fire, a nearby blaze first reported Monday afternoon, has spread across 1,700 acres, primarily taking off in a rural part of northeastern California.

  • A smoke forecast for the next 36 hours shows higher-level smoke spreading across northern California into Oregon, with thick smoke affecting areas to the south and east.
  • As of 7:30 p.m. Eastern, 5% of the fire was contained. Crews are working to construct and improve firelines. Diminishing winds are expected to help the effort.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: With the ongoing drought, meager winter snow and early snow melt, California's wildfire season started early and may be one of the worst on record.

  • Whether it outpaces last year's benchmarks depends in part on how many extreme fire weather days (high winds, high temperatures, dry lightning strikes) materialize. But the entire state, especially forests, are primed to burn.

The big picture: The state has secured funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help combat the flames, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Tuesday.

Go deeper

How to adapt to extreme weather

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer. Photo: Charles Mostoller/Bloomberg via Getty Images

With climate shock waves set to roil communities with increasing frequency and severity, an urgent task facing us all is to build up resilience measures to withstand these events.

Why it matters: It's too late to stop extreme weather from increasing even as emissions are reduced, so all we can do is adapt to it. But there are strategies that you — and your community — can take to become better prepared.

The next 30 years of extreme weather

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

This year's extreme weather is a preview of even more turbulent times that will bedevil us for at least the span of a 30-year mortgage.

Why it matters: Extreme weather events are the clearest way we're feeling climate change in our daily lives, and they will reshape where and how we live, work and play.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congressman criminally charged with lying to feds

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has been indicted on charges he falsified records and lied to federal investigators probing an illegal foreign donation scheme, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Driving the news: DOJ says a Fortenberry associate, who later cooperated with investigators, informed him he'd likely received illegal donations from an intermediary for a foreign national, but that Fortenberry denied any knowledge of such a scheme when contacted by the FBI.