Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

A pyrocumulus cloud caused by the Bootleg Fire, 27 miles northeast of Klamath Falls, drifting into the air north of the Bootleg Fire forward operating base in Bly, Oregon on July 15. Photo: PAYTON BRUNI / Getty Images

A total of 70 large wildfires are burning across the U.S., according to the National Interagency Fire Center, and this number is likely to grow as yet another powerful heat dome is set to build across the West, sending temperatures skyrocketing.

Why it matters: States across the northern Rockies and parts of the Pacific Northwest are set to see another searing heat wave from Saturday through at least Wednesday, with temperatures hitting 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit above average. This could significantly exacerbate the wildfires that are already ravaging the territory.

  • Forecasters with the National Weather Service warn of the potential for thunderstorms to form that could deliver little rain but dry lightning strikes that may spark new blazes.
  • These same areas that will see the extreme heat starting this weekend — including Montana, Idaho and Wyoming — are affected by wildfire smoke wafting in from fires in California, Oregon and Washington.

Driving the news: The Bootleg Fire, the largest wildfire currently burning in the U.S., has demolished more than 230,000 acres in Oregon and remains only 7% contained, per the Inciweb.

  • Some communities surrounding the blaze are still being evacuated, officials said on the Bootleg Fire Facebook page.
  • The NIFC, which coordinates federal firefighting agencies, on Thursday elevated its national alert level from 4 to 5, the highest on its scale and the earliest such designation in 10 years.

The big picture: The extreme drought and heat waves, which researchers say have been aggravated by human-caused climate change, are the main reason why this year's wildfire season ramped up so early.

What to watch: High temperatures on Monday in northeastern Montana could top 108 degrees Fahrenheit, with the heat stretching through midweek, according to the National Weather Service.

  • Computer models show that yet another heat dome is building across the West, this time moving north and parking itself over the northern Rockies, drawing warm air northward and locking it in place for an extended period.
  • This heat comes on top of an already hot streak, in the middle of a record drought. Boise, Idaho has reached or exceeded 95°F for a record-setting 20 straight days. The heat plus drought is leading to some of the driest vegetation for so early in the fire season -- a clear warning sign of the potential for additional large blazes.
  • The heat may be most extreme in portions of southern Canada, including British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, where above average temperatures may stretch for longer than seven days. Numerous fires are burning in Canada, sending smoke eastward all the way to mainland Europe.
  • The extreme heat will contribute to the potential for unusual wildfire behavior, including the development of towering clouds of ash and water vapor, known as pyro-cumulonimbus clouds, or pyroCb. These can spark new blazes via lightning, and alter winds in ways that make firefighting efforts extremely difficult.
  • This most recently happened Thursday with the Bootleg Fire.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • While not in the area of intense heat, a fire weather watch is in effect for Sunday to Monday in the San Francisco Bay area due to an expected outbreak of thunderstorms that could touch off some fires. These storms are not expected to bring drought relief, however.
  • More storms could form further north, in Oregon and Washington, potentially causing additional fires there too.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upward of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Kate Marino, author of Markets
38 mins ago - Economy & Business

Omicron outbreaks were bad for business in January

Data: New York Federal Reserve Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

Emerging anecdotal evidence shows just how hard the recent rise in COVID-19 cases hit businesses in early January — but that hasn't hurt some business leaders’ longer-term views on their companies' prospects.

Why it matters: Increasingly, the economic recovery has come in fits and starts that move in tandem with new peaks in cases. Look no further than the thousands of cancelled flights and shuttered Broadway theaters in the wake of the Omicron variant's spread over the last few months.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

The shifting definition of fully vaccinated

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The definition of what it means to be "fully vaccinated" is evolving even as the CDC has remained careful not to officially change it.

Why it matters: CDC officials have been balancing the job of convincing Americans who've already gotten two doses of the importance of boosters with getting many Americans who still need their first doses to get their shots at all.