At least 8.5 million acres have been torched by wildfires so far this year across the United States, according to data from the National Interagency Coordination Center — about 2.1 million acres above the 10-year average of 6.3 million acres burned by this point in the year. California has been particularly hard hit.

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Data: National Interagency Coordination Center; Note: Cumulative counts are sometimes revised, causing short-lived spikes or dips in the number of acres burned; Chart: Axios Visuals

The big picture: California's Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in the state's history, has burned more than 140,000 acres so far and claimed at least 56 lives. It was only 40% contained as of Thursday morning. It's already historic in both its size and destructiveness, having burned over 8,500 homes.

  • California's fire siege has resulted from a combination of one of the state's hottest years on record, combined with extraordinarily dry vegetation along with frequent bouts of strong winds.

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Mike Allen, author of AM
3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump's next moves in Supreme Court fight

Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Trump's choices to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are down to two women, both federal appeals court judges.

The frontrunners are Amy Coney Barrett of Chicago, the early favorite, and Barbara Lagoa, who is viewed as easier to confirm. The Senate confirmed Lagoa 80-15 last year, so many Democrats have already voted for her.

The TikTok deal's for-show provisions and flimsy foundations

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The new deal to rescue TikTok from a threatened U.S. ban — full of provisions aimed at creating the temporary appearance of a presidential win — looks like a sort of Potemkin village agreement.

How it works: Potemkin villages were fake-storefront towns stood up to impress a visiting czar and dignitaries. When the visitors left, the stage set got struck.

  • Similarly, many elements of this plan look hastily erected and easily abandoned once the spotlight moves on.
1 hour ago - Technology

Over 3 million U.S. voters have already registered on social media

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An estimated 2.5 million+ Americans have registered to vote on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, Facebook announced Monday. More than 733,000 Americans have registered to vote so far via Snapchat.

Why it matters: The broad reach of social media platforms makes them uniquely effective at engaging voters — especially younger voters who may not know how to register to vote or be civically engaged.