EARLIER THIS month wildfires tore through the drought-stricken American West. The largest of them, the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, now takes up almost 395,000 hectares—more than the city of Los Angeles. The blaze is so big that it has created its own weather by sucking up smoke and air into “fire clouds”, which can trigger lightning and more fires. Some 2,250 firefighters are working in temperatures that have soared to 47°C (116°F) in order to contain it. America’s National Interagency Fire Centre estimates that 78 large fires are raging across 13 states.

Meanwhile, heavy rain caused severe floods in Europe and China. Flooding in the area where Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands meet appears to have been caused by a low-pressure region that sucked in moisture from lakes and wet soil across central Europe. It sat there for days, disgorging colossal quantities of rain. Reservoirs and sewer systems filled, and streams jumped their banks. At least 199 people have died and hundreds more are still missing. Henan, a province of central China, suffered its heaviest rainfall in a thousand years. Dozens of rivers burst their banks and streets flooded, causing transport disruptions in many cities. Tens of thousands of people were displaced.

The Tamarack Fire, discovered on July 4th, was ignited by a lightning strike. It has burned over 41,000 acres in Nevada.

The Tamarack fire began with a single smouldering tree. It has since consumed many more.

Trees in Markleeville, California, are engulfed in flames

Forest Service firefighters in Markleeville monitor the Tamarack Fire. They have failed to contain it so far.

A big cloud of fire and smoke looms behind homes in Markleeville.

An 853 KBAn airplane tries to extinguish the Grandview Fire in Sisters, Oregon. The cause of the fire remains unknown. As of July 21st 84% of the blaze had been contained.

Heavy flooding destroyed a bridge in Ahrweiler, Germany.

A man rows a boat down a street in Angleur, Belgium.

A police officer and civilian volunteers clean rubble after heavy rainfall in Bad Muenstereifel, Germany.

A woman walks on a waterlogged street in Mumbai, India. The city has been lashed with heavy monsoon rain, which has killed over 30.