Aug 17, 2018

Wildfire smoke from U.S., Canada blazes reaches Europe

Satellite loop showing wildfire smoke drifting across the Atlantic, towards Western Europe. Credit: Data: RAMMB / CIRA; GIF: Harry Stevens/Axios

Smoke from devastating wildfires burning from California to British Columbia has traveled all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, having hitched a ride with west-to-east moving storm systems.

Why it matters: The sighting of North American wildfire smoke in Western Europe indicates how major disasters in one country can affect people thousands of miles away.

The big picture: This fire season has already unleashed California's largest wildfire on record, as well as its largest wildfire complex (combination of two fires burning in close proximity). Air quality in the West has been so poor that it's violated federal standards in multiple states. Combined with smoke pouring out of fires in British Columbia, a plume of smoke is spreading across the northern tier of the U.S., out into the North Atlantic and on towards Europe.

Satellite image on Aug. 17, 2018, with arrows pointing to areas of wildfire smoke. Photo: Colorado State University/CIRA/RAMMB

On August 16, a NOAA satellite image captured smoke surrounding Subtropical Storm Ernesto in the North Atlantic.

While firefighters have recently made gains in containing California's wildfires, continued hot and dry weather is expected to lead to more dangerous fire weather conditions through October, which is typically the busiest part of the season there.

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Teenager killed after shots fired at protesters in Detroit

Detroit police during protests on Friday night. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

A 19-year-old man was killed on Friday night after shots were fired into a crowd of demonstrators in downtown Detroit who were protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, per AP.

Details: The teenager was injured when shots were fired from an SUV about 11:30 p.m. and later died in hospital, reports MDN reports, which noted police were still looking for a suspect. Police said officers were not involved in the shooting, according to AP.

Go deeper: In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

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In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Police officers grapple with protesters in Atlanta. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd spread nationwide on Friday evening.

The big picture: Police responded in force in cities ranging from Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to D.C. and Denver to Louisville. In Los Angeles, police declared a stretch of downtown off limits, with Oakland issuing a similar warning.

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Supreme Court sides with California on coronavirus worship service rules

The Supreme Court has ruled 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court's liberal justices, to reject a challenge to California's pandemic restrictions on worship services.

Why it matters: This is a setback for those seeking to speed the reopening of houses of worship, including President Trump.