Nov 24, 2018

Reading guide: The causes and impact of California's wildfires

A house burns during the Camp fire in Paradise, California on Nov. 8. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

November has become one of the most devastating months in history for California, with two major wildfires raging in the northern and southern parts of the state.

The big picture: It's worth a closer look at what the future holds in California and across the West, where a changing climate is leading to larger fires. Here's a roundup of our coverage and the best stories from other sources — including local media reports that can give us the best insight into possible causes, what it would take to reduce the risk, and how the disasters have affected people's lives.

What's going on

The Camp Fire in Butte County is still under investigation, but a lawsuit points to PG&E infrastructure and equipment failures as the likely cause.

The Woolsey Fire in Ventura County burned through Malibu and surrounding areas, though the cause is still unclear.

Scale of the fires
Californians through the fires

Go deeper

House passes bill to make lynching a federal hate crime

Photo: Aaron P. Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The House voted 410-4 on Wednesday to pass legislation to designate lynching as a federal hate crime.

Why it matters: Congress has tried and failed for over 100 years to pass measures to make lynching a federal crime.

This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

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.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health