Jul 7, 2018

Fires rage in California amid record heat, thousands without power

Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Record-shattering heat in California is sparking fires across the southern part of the state, the L.A. Times reports, causing hundreds to evacuate.

The latest: Per the Times, the holiday fire has destroyed 10-20 homes and has put upwards of 100 others at risk along the Santa Barbara County coast. The fire was still being fought on Saturday.

Multiple cities broke heat records on Friday, the Times reports. Los Angeles hit 108 degrees, and Ramona, in San Diego County, and Woodland Hills reached 115 degrees.

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus tweeted on Friday that hundreds of homes had no power — or air conditioning to fight the heat: "It's 111 degrees. All-time record heat is straining the electrical grid."

  • At least one person has been killed, the Associated Press reported.
  • Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in San Diego County, per the AP.

Flashback: Wildfires tore through California last year, destroying thousands of homes and structures and forcing thousands to evacuate.

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America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday, while Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 as of Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."