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Heat Waves, Power Outages, Wildfires: The Misery Continues

Trying to keep cool in Chicago: On Wednesday, 7-year-old Keshyra Pitts played in the spray from a fire hydrant.
Jose M. Osorio
MCT /Landov
Trying to keep cool in Chicago: On Wednesday, 7-year-old Keshyra Pitts played in the spray from a fire hydrant.

First, some good news:

-- The Waldo Canyon fire in and around Colorado Springs is "90 percent contained" and officials expect it will be "fully contained by Friday," The Denver Post reports. That blaze, which began June 23, has destroyed about 350 homes and caused at least two fatalities.

-- Power companies continue to bring more customers back on line in states from Ohio east to Virginia as they work to repair power lines brought down by last Friday's powerful derecho. The storm brought high winds, rain and lightning across a huge swatch of the nation, from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic.

Now, the not-so-good news:

-- More than 500,000 customers still don't have power in the states pummeled by Friday's storm, The Associated Press reports. In West Virginia alone, about 250,000 are without electricity, says The Charleston Gazette.

-- The heatwave that has made life even more miserable for those without power continues. lists "excessive heat" warnings or watches for derecho-affected states including Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania. There are heat advisories for some of the other affected states, including Virginia and West Virginia.

-- Though there's been progress fighting the Waldo Canyon blaze, "wildfires in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado sent haze and smoke across Colorado's Front Range, prompting air-quality health advisories as firefighters warned of growing fires in sparsely populated areas," The Associated Press writes.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.

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