The Ponderosa fire in northern California threatens another 900 homes. The Ponderosa fire is 57 percent contained. Elsewhere in the West, states are tallying the rising costs of big wildfires this season.
Tropical storm Isaac, now in the eastern Caribbean, appears likely to sweep into the Gulf of Mexico early next week, according to long-range forecasts. Landfall in the US could be from coastal Alabama to the western Florida panhandle.
Many ranchers and other livestock owners are in a frantic search for hay, as yields shrink amid worst drought in America in 56 years. Some are selling animals for cheap. Beef prices are projected to rise.