The wildfires sweeping the West continued to rage today, with showers reducing the intensity of some blazes as others spread unabated. In South Dakota, cooler temperatures and rain slowed flames that had burst out of a canyon, laying waste to 30 houses and killing a homeowner. Officials in Utah blamed a fatal weekend motorcycle accident on smoke from fires nearby.
Lightning and the ongoing heatwave combined to ignite many of the fires charring the landscape from California east, closing highways and driving people from their homes. Some regions saw showers today, but in Utah things keep heating up as crews battle the greatest fire in state history. "We're still looking at extreme fire danger," said a spokeswoman. (Read more firefighters stories.)