The Wider World

Dixie wildfire is state’s biggest

AIRTANKER at Chico Airport, with smoke from Dixie fire behind. Such planes are used to drop water or fire-retardant chemicals on blazes (Wikipedia/Frank Schulenberg).

The Dixie fire in northern California has grown to become the largest single wildfire in state history.

According to USA Today, the blaze has destroyed at least 400 homes and buildings and threatened another 14,000 structures. As of Sunday late afternoon, the fire was reported to be only 21 percent contained. An estimated 700 square miles has been consumed by flame.

The fire is burning across four counties: Butte, Plumas, Tehama and Lassen. It’s the biggest of 15 major wildfires the west, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

“We are at the mercy of the winds,” Dan Kearns, a volunteer firefighter, told The New York Times.

Some relief may be in sight by Tuesday as winds are projected to shift, leading to the possibility of rain storms over the area, according to the National Weather Service.

More vaccination mandates on the way?

VACCINATION (Shutterstock).

Pending full approval of coronavirus vaccines by the Food and Drug Administration, more businesses and educational institutions may be requiring vaccinations, suggested Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease on Sunday. Such approval could be coming by the end of August.

While the vaccines have been widely used – 71 percent of American adults have received at least one dose – it has been under emergency authorizations. Some people have cited the fact that the FDA has not yet given final approval as a reason for delaying or declining inoculations.

New cases of COVID-19 have risen 111 percent nationally over a 14-day period, according to The New York Times, and new deaths are up 89 percent. The increases are the most pronounced in southern and southeastern states.

U.S. finished on top in Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, delayed by a year and held without in-person attendance because of rising incidents of coronavirus infection, concluded today (Sunday).

The U.S. rallied with two gold medals on Sunday to finish in first place overall in total medals and total golds. The women’s basketball team defeated Japan 90-75 and the women’s volleyball team defeated Brazil 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-14) for its first Olympic gold.

Here are the final standings.

  • Total gold medals: U.S. (39), China (38), Japan (27), Great Britain (22), Russian Olympic Committee (20).
  • Total medals: U.S. (113), China (88), Russians (71), Great Britain (65), Japan (58).

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