Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Next heat wave set to roast northern Rockies as wildfires ravage West

A total of 70 large wildfires are burning across the U.S., according to the National Interagency Fire Center, and this number is likely to grow as yet another powerful heat dome is set to build across the West, sending temperatures skyrocketing.

Why it matters: States across the northern Rockies and parts of the Pacific Northwest are set to see another searing heat wave from Saturday through at least Wednesday, with temperatures hitting 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit above average. This could significantly exacerbate the wildfires that are already ravaging the territory.

  • Forecasters with the National Weather Service warn of the potential for thunderstorms to form that could deliver little rain but dry lightning strikes that may spark new blazes.
  • These same areas that will see the extreme heat starting this weekend — including Montana, Idaho and Wyoming — are affected by wildfire smoke wafting in from fires in California, Oregon and Washington.

Driving the news: The Bootleg Fire, the largest wildfire currently burning in the U.S., has demolished more than 230,000 acres in Oregon and remains only 7% contained, per the Inciweb.

  • Some communities surrounding the blaze are still being evacuated, officials said on the Bootleg Fire Facebook page.
  • The NIFC, which coordinates federal firefighting agencies, on Thursday elevated its national alert level from 4 to 5, the highest on its scale and the earliest such designation in 10 years.

The big picture: The extreme drought and heat waves, which researchers say have been aggravated by human-caused climate change, are the main reason why this year's wildfire season ramped up so early.

What to watch: High temperatures on Monday in northeastern Montana could top 108 degrees Fahrenheit, with the heat stretching through midweek, according to the National Weather Service.

  • Computer models show that yet another heat dome will build across the West, this time moving north and parking itself over the northern Rockies, drawing warm air northward.
  • The heat may be most extreme in portions of southern Canada, including British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, where above average temperatures may stretch for longer than seven days. Numerous fires are burning in Canada, sending smoke eastward all the way to mainland Europe.
  • The extreme heat will contribute to the potential for unusual wildfire behavior, including the development of towering clouds of ash and water vapor, known as pyroCb clouds. These can spark new blazes via lightning, and alter winds in ways that make firefighting efforts extremely difficult.
  • This most recently happened Thursday with the Bootleg Fire.

Last night's view of the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon.

GeoColor imagery from GOES-West:

— CIRA (@CIRA_CSU) July 15, 2021

Go deeper:

4 ffp

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories