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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.

Go deeper:

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Cuomo scandal snares Dems on #MeToo

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images   

The searing sexual harassment allegations made against Gov. Andrew Cuomo are trouble for Democrats far beyond Albany and New York.

Why it matters: They hammered Donald Trump after the "Access Hollywood" tape. Pilloried Brett Kavanaugh over Christine Blasey Ford. Defended President Biden when he was accused of inappropriate touching. Now, Democrats have to show whether they walk the "#MeToo" talk.

CPAC Republicans choose conservatism over constituents

Rep. Matt Gaetz. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

CPAC proved such a draw, conservative Republicans chose the conference over their constituents.

Why it matters: More than a dozen House Republicans voted by proxy on the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill in Washington so they could speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC. And Sen. Ted Cruz skipped an Air Force One flight as President Biden flew to Cruz's hometown of Houston to survey storm damage.

Border Democrat warns Biden about immigrant fallout

Henry Cuellar (right). Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

A Democratic lawmaker representing a border district warned the Biden administration against easing up too much on unauthorized immigrants, citing their impact on his constituents, local hospitals and their potential to spread the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told Axios he supports President Biden. But the moderate said he sees the downsides of efforts to placate pro-immigrant groups, an effort that threatens to blow up on the administration.