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1 big thing: California's 13 months of hell

Blackened and charred hills from the Woolsey Fire which made it all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

California is never immune to big fires, but a look at the past 13 months reveals a horrifying path of destruction that deserves equal screen time to the latest political intrigues.

Driving the news: Parts of the state are blanketed in smoke, with temperatures dropping as a result and residents scrambling to get specialized masks to help filter the air. The state's air quality is currently the worst in the nation as a result of the fires, Bloomberg reports.

By the numbers over the past 13 months, per CalFire (** indicates active fire):

  1. Mendocino Complex: 459,123 acres, 280 structures, 1 death
  2. Thomas: 281,893 acres; 1,063 structures; 2 deaths
  3. Carr: 229,651 acres; 1,604 structures; 8 deaths
  4. Witch: 197,990 acres; 1,650 structures, 2 deaths
  5. **Camp: 142,000 acres; 12,256 structures; 66 deaths
  6. **Woolsey: Nearly 100,000 acres; ~600 structures; 3 deaths
  7. Nuns: 54,382 acres; 1,355 structures; 3 deaths
  8. Tubbs: 36,807 acres; 5,636 structures, 22 deaths

The big picture: 14 of the 20 most destructive fires in the state have been since 2000, along with 15 of the 20 largest by acreage, Axios' Andrew Freedman notes.

Rescue workers search the Paradise Gardens apartments for victims of the Camp Fire. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

People pray for Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during an absence prayer held after Friday prayers at Fatih Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.

2. What you missed
  1. A judge temporarily restored Jim Acosta's White House press pass today, saying CNN is likely to win its case. The White House said in response that it wants "decorum" in the briefings. Go deeper.
  2. Trump says he "just finished" writing his answers to Mueller's questions, and that they will be submitted to the special counsel soon. Go deeper.
  3. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral arguments on the immigration citizenship question the Trump administration is adding to the 2020 census.
  4. Former White House staffer Cliff Sims is writing a memoir about his time working for the Trump administration.
  5. Secretary Betsy DeVos has released a proposed overhaul of how the Department of Education regulates colleges and universities on sexual assault and harassment allegations. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing

"Eager employers trying to lure workers in the tightest job market since 1969 are hiring some candidates sight unseen, at times after one phone interview," the WSJ's Chip Cutter reports.

  • "The practice has become most common in seasonal work, particularly retail, although it is spreading among certain in-demand white-collar roles, such as engineers, IT professionals and teachers."
  • "Ashley Jurak, a 19-year-old student at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, offered to drive 90 minutes to her hometown of Dallas for an in-store interview with Bath & Body Works as she tried to nail down a position for the holiday break. The hiring manager told her she had clinched it over the phone."

Dive on in.