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Photo: Getty Images/Stevecoleimages

A higher frequency of natural disasters in the U.S. is putting a strain on first responders who are already grappling with lower staff numbers, AP reports.

The big picture: While the population of career firefighters has increased in recent years, approximately two-thirds of the United States' 30,000 fire departments are made up of volunteers. Per the National Volunteer Fire Council, the number of volunteer firefighters has dropped from 814,850 to 682,600 over the past 4 years.

  • "The bottom line is that people have a lot less time than they used to," Natalie Simpson, an operations management professor at University at Buffalo, told the AP.

The number of calls to emergency fire departments is also on the rise, according to the National Fire Protection Association Survey. With that has come higher expectations and standards for the types of services firefighters must provide.

  • Per the AP: "Both career and volunteer firefighters are now trained in emergency medical services and multihazard responses. It’s rare that they respond to actual fires, and even rarer to a natural disaster. Still, experts say they need to be prepared."

Between the lines: Climate change doesn't cause natural disasters to occur, but it's an aggravator factor in extreme weather events such as hurricanes and heatwaves.

Go deeper: How climate change affects our weather

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”