• Laura Sutton, center, the wife of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection firefighter Nick Sutton, joins others at a rally calling for shorter hours and higher wages to retain firefighters, at the Capitol, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. Statistics provided to The Associated Press show vacancy rates exceeding 15 percent in some CaliFire positions. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

    California firefighters stretched thin as blazes sweep state

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s state fire department is stretched thin just as the bone-dry state enters the peak of its wildfire season, with vacancy rates exceeding 15 percent for some firefighters and supervisors. The vacancy rate is more than 10 percent for some fire engine drivers, according to statistics provided to The Associated Press.

  • This Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016, photo, shows a vehicle speeding across the Bonneville Salt Flats, near Wendover, Utah. Speed-starved racers are finally back at Utah's world-famous Bonneville Salt Flats to hit speeds of 400 mph or more as they compete in Speed Week for the first time since 2013 after wet weather and rough salt cancelled the races for the last two years. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Racers whip across Utah’s famed salt flats after 2 years off

    BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS, Utah (AP) — Blinding white salt stretches across the earth to distant purple mountain ranges, an otherworldly landscape famous for providing a natural track for racers seeking breakneck speeds but fragile enough that rain can easily break it down.