Paradise, California. Photo: NASA
Three major wildfires are blazing across California, killing citizens trapped by their rapid spread and threatening iconic towns like Malibu.
The big picture: "With fires also burning in Southern California, state officials put the total number of people forced from their homes at 157,000," the AP reports.
Between the lines: California has had one of its warmest and driest six month periods on record since 1895 (May through October), according to NOAA. Much of the state has not seen measurable rain in months, and vegetation moisture levels are near all-time lows.
Longer-term climate change and population growth are also combining to cause increased wildfire risk in California, including in highly populated areas, notes Axios' Andrew Freedman.
The bottom line: We're witnessing yet more wildfire disasters in a state that is likely to see this problem grow worse with time, as climate change leads to more erratic rainy seasons and hotter, drier and more extended dry seasons.
Go deeper: 15 of California's 20 largest wildfires have occurred since 2000.
Above: Strong winds blow smoke horizontally over the the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean over the city of Malibu, far distance, seen from the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles.
Below: Patients are quickly evacuated from the Feather River Hospital as it burns down during the Camp fire in Paradise, California.
Below: California from space.
"A think tank that has studied the content of late-night comedy for the past 26 years says Trump was the butt of more jokes in 2017 than any other public figure has for a single year," the AP reports.