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Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper discusses the state's 2018 wildfire outlook in on April 13, 2018. Credit: Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Large wildfires in New Mexico and Colorado have forced hundreds to evacuate, and burned at least a dozen structures since Friday. The blazes are taking place amid tinder dry and windy conditions, and signal what officials fear will be a historically damaging fire seasons.

The big picture: One of the rapidly spreading fires, known as the 416 fire, is burning near Durango, in southwestern Colorado. It has forced the evacuation of nearly 800 homes since it was first seen on Friday morning. The fire has been burning through parts of the San Juan National Forest, and as of Saturday morning, the fire was 0 percent contained and had spread to 1,100 acres, according to Inciweb, a government portal for wildfire disaster information.

In neighboring New Mexico, the Ute Park fire is burning about 100 miles northeast of Santa Fe. The fire has burned more than 27,000 acres, and destroyed more than a dozen unoccupied structures. About 300 structures are threatened in the community of Cimarron, according to Inciweb,

Why you’ll hear about this again: Officials in several western states are bracing for what could be the worst wildfire season in years, as "exceptional drought conditions" — the most severe category — grip parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma. In Colorado, officials are warning this could be the worst fire season since 2012, when neighborhoods went up in flames around Colorado Springs during the Waldo Canyon Fire.

Studies show that in response to climate change and development practices, there's a tendency for larger, more destructive fires, along with longer wildfire seasons in the West.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Silver medalist Lilly King of Team USA (left) embraces gold medalist Tatjana Schoenmaker of Team South Africa on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women's 200m breaststroke final on July 30. Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images

🥇 : U.S. gymnast Suni Lee wins gold in the women's individual all-around

🚣‍♀️: Team USA women's eight rowing fails to reach the podium

🤸🏾‍♀️: Simone Biles reacts to "love and support" after withdrawing from all-around gymnastics and team finals, citing her mental health

🏊: Olympic swimmer Ryan Murphy wins Silver in 200m

📷: In photos: Tokyo Olympics day 6 highlights

🗓: The Olympic events to watch today

🏃‍: Female Olympians push back against double standard in uniforms

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Former Michigan Sen. Carl Levin dies at 87

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) in 2014. He died Thursday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) died Thursday, his family and the Levin Center at Wayne Law — which bore his name — confirmed. He was 87.

Why it matters: The Detroit native served for 36 years in the U.S. Senate, serving twice as chairman of the Armed Services Committee and is credited with helping overturn the military's “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rule.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Military members will be included in Biden's new COVID guidance

Joe Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Members of the military will be required to get vaccinations or face regular testing, social distancing, mask mandates and restrictions on travel for work, the the Pentagon said on Thursday evening.

Why it matters: The policy was announced for federal workers and onsite contractors earlier on Thursday, part of several new Biden initiatives to get more Americans vaccinated and slow the spread of the Delta variant.