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

The Americans who can't hide from coronavirus

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The stock markets are in bad shape, but for the millions of Americans who aren’t invested in stocks, coronavirus is presenting a far more imminent concern.

Why it matters: Quarantines usually work with at least 90% participation, but many Americans lack the flexibility to work remotely, take a sick day or absorb having schools close.

Wall Street notches worst week for stocks since 2008

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

Stocks closed down about 1% on Friday, ending the worst week for Wall Street since the financial crisis.

Why it matters: The stretch of declines came after a spike in coronavirus cases around the world earlier this week. The steep losses prompted questions about the fate of the record-long economic expansion, as well as a rare statement from the Federal Reserve.

Go deeper: The growing coronavirus recession threat