The KNP Complex Fire, which reached the western edge of Sequoia National Park Saturday night, has so far spared a group of giant sequoias, local authorities said on Sunday.
Why it matters: The forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including one that is considered the largest tree on Earth by volume. The giant trees are considered "national treasures," and protective measures, such as wrapping portions of the trees in fire-resistant foil, are in place to curb damage.
Why it matters: The all-civilian spaceflight was created, in part, as a fundraiser for St. Jude to raise $200 million. The mission had received $100 million from billionaire Jared Isaacman, who purchased the flight, and raised an additional $60.2 million before Musk's contribution, according to CNBC.
Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest on Saturday.
Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — the world's largest tree by volume. Park officials wrapped the redwoods in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. Protection efforts appeared to be working overnight.
The all-civilian Inspiration4 crew is back on Earth after their three-day mission in orbit.
The big picture: The launch and landing of this fully amateur, private space crew marks a changing of the guard from spaceflight being a largely government-led venture to being under the purview of private companies.
Heat is typically the No. 1 weather-related killer in the U.S. — but depending on the neighborhood, some city residents experience cooler, more manageable temperatures than others.
Why it matters: All cities trap heat, with their darkly colored asphalt and energy absorbent buildings — a phenomenon known as the Urban Heat Island effect. However, within these heat islands, some areas are consistently hotter.
The increasing number of extreme weather incidents is spurring calls from emergency services workers and state and local officials for better public health mapping to identify and assist people at risk from environmental disasters.
Why it matters: People of color, especially Black Americans, have been disproportionately affected by environmental hazards and are more likely to die of environmental causes now and in the future.
A growing environmental threat to communities of color — particularly Black Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans — is the damage some are likely to suffer because of climate change in the coming years.
The big picture: This visual is based on an EPA analysis released this month that explores how warming and rising seas could make life especially miserable for people of color based on where they currently live in the lower 48 states.
A national study out earlier this year from the nonprofit First Street Foundation supports what experts have long believed: The National Flood Insurance Program undercharges for flood insurance in certain areas, making it cheaper and easier for people to live in dangerous places if they’re willing to take the risk.
The big picture: The group found 4.2 million properties across the country face major flood risk and pay too little in flood insurance; a quarter of those were in Florida. And the data show the risk is racially lopsided.
On a cool July dawn, 11-year-old Henry Herrera and his father were outside their home in Tularosa, New Mexico, when they saw a bright light and heard the boom of what turned out to be the world's first atomic bomb test.
Why it matters: Three-quarters of a century later, Hispanic and Mescalero Apache families and descendants of those living near the Trinity Test are dealing with rare cancers that have devastated nearly four generations, while the federal government ignored, dismissed and forgot them.
Don't forget: NASA announced last year that it would work with Cruise on a film aboard the International Space Station — though it's unclear where that currently stands.