All Extreme weather stories

Updated Oct 1, 2020 - Science

In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed over 51,620 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1,700 firefighters are battling 26 major wildfires across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: More than 8,100 wildfires have burned across a record 3.9 million-plus acres, killing 29 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

Sep 29, 2020 - Science

3 dead and thousands evacuated as Northern California fires explode

A building at the Meadowood Napa Valley luxury resort burns after the Glass Fire moved St. Helena, California, on Monday. Photo: by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Three people have died in a wildfire in Northern California and tens of thousands were evacuated across the state, as firefighters contended with strong winds and dry conditions that saw blazes explode across the state on Monday.

Driving the news: Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini confirmed the deaths occurred as the Zogg Fire spread across 15,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of 1,200 people. More than 5o,000 people were under evacuation orderds, per AP.

Updated Sep 28, 2020 - Science

California wine country wildfire prompts evacuations

The scene of the Glass Fire in St. Helena, in Napa County, California, on Sunday. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in the western U.S. were facing "critical fire weather conditions," as a rapidly spreading new wildfire in Northern California prompted fresh evacuations Sunday.

Why it matters: Wildfires have burned a record 3.6 million acres in California this year, killing 26 people and razing over 7,600 structures, per Cal Fire. Utility provider Pacific Gas & Electric cut power to 11,000 customers early Sunday and planned outages for 54,000 others later in the day because of fire risks.

In photos: Firefighters battle 75 large blazes across West on first day of fall

Firefighters battling the Bobcat Fire near Cedar Springs in the Angeles National Forest on Sept. 21 in Los Angeles, California. The blaze is the third-largest recorded in the county. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters worked into the night to tackle the massive BobCat Fire before the expected arrival of warmer and drier weather later in the week. The blaze has burned over 112,000 acres and was 17% contained late Tuesday.

The big picture: 75 large wildfires were burning in the U.S. Tuesday, the first day of fall, as cooler weather provided relief to firefighters and improved air quality across the West. The mega-fires have killed at least 36 people and charred more than 5 million acres in Oregon, Washington and California — where 26 people have died, over 7,1000 structures have been destroyed and more than 3.6 million acres have been razed.

Updated Sep 23, 2020 - Science

Texas and Louisiana face fresh flood threat from storm Beta

Beta's heavy rains lash the beach at Texas' Galveston Island on Monday. Photo: Zeng Jingning/China News Service via Getty Images

Flash flood watches were in effect across southeast Texas and southern Louisiana as Post-Tropical Cyclone Beta continued to unleash heavy rains overnight.

Of note: Up to 14 inches of rain fell in Houston, Texas, late Tuesday as the storm continued to move slowly move east, per the National Hurricane Center.

Sep 19, 2020 - Science

4.5 magnitude earthquake shakes Southern California

A 4.5 magnitude earthquake struck the greater Los Angeles area Friday night, per the the U.S. Geological Survey.

The state of play: The quake came as California is already grappling with wildfires suffocating the West Coast. CNN reports that tremors were felt in San Diego, Valencia and the San Fernando Valley area. The Los Angeles Fire Department is warning people to ready themselves for potential aftershocks.

Updated Sep 17, 2020 - Science

Hundreds rescued as deadly Tropical Depression Sally sweeps Gulf Coast

A street flooded by Tropical Storm Sally in Pensacola, Florida, on Wednesday. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

"Catastrophic" flooding from Tropical Depression Sally spilled inland across eastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia on Wednesday, bringing peak winds down to 45 mph winds, per the National Hurricane Center.

Why it matters: The mayor of Orange Beach, Ala., said one person died in the storm and hundreds of others have been rescued, per AP. Sally made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane near Gulf Shores, before later being downgraded to a tropical storm and later a depression. But the NHC warned late Wednesday it's "still causing torrential rains over eastern Alabama and western Georgia."

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Sep 16, 2020 - Health

West Coast wildfires heighten coronavirus risk

Photo: Getty Images

The wildfires raging in the West are obviously horrendous on their own, but they're also raising the risk of further coronavirus spread, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Between the lines: It's harder for people to take appropriate coronavirus precautions when they're being forced from their homes, or when the air quality is as bad as it is.

Hurricane Sally makes landfall in Alabama with "life-threatening storm surge"

A driver navigates along a flooded road as the outer bands of Hurricane Sally come ashore in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, on Tuesday. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm on Wednesday morning, packing maximum sustained winds were 105 mph.

What's happening: "Historic and catastrophic flooding is unfolding along and just inland of the coast, from Tallahassee, Florida, to Mobile Bay, Alabama," the National Hurricane Center said, as the storm's eyewall was moving across the coast.

Portland has world's worst air quality as West Coast fires raze 5 million acres

An aerial view of structures destroyed by wildfire and others spared by fire retardant in Talent, Oregon. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Portland, Oregon, recorded the poorest air quality in the world Tuesday, per IQ Air, as the West Coast wildfires burn across some 5 million acres.

Why it matters: The mega-fires have charred 3,154,107 acres in California, over 1 million in Oregon and more than 807,000 in Washington amid hazardous air conditions. Seattle has the world's third-worst air quality and Los Angeles the seventh, according to IQ Air. The blazes have killed at least 35 people and displaced tens of thousands. Thousands of structures have been destroyed.

Go deeper: In photos: Historic wildfires rage across the West

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the fires and air quality.