Today: An Epic Fire Year. Children Adrift.

I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.


The Golden State on Fire

California is burning, and as Gov. Jerry Brown put it, "there is more to come." The number of fires in the state this year tops 6,000 -- up 1,500 from last year, officials say. "We are really in a battle with Mother Nature and nature is more powerful than we are," the governor said. Here's our live blog on the fires.

Who Should Get Healthcare Benefits?

Should people who are in the country illegally receive healthcare benefits? Voters in California are almost evenly split, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. About 48% said they would support free or low-cost health insurance through Medi-Cal or a similar program for those immigrants. About 47% said no. But there's more behind those numbers, including how they break out along ethnic and political lines. 

Sending Children to an Unknown Fate

Some lose their families by accident. Some are dispatched to find work and send money home. Some arrive in the hope that relatives can follow. As Europe's refugee crisis continues, children are making the trek without their parents. "We didn't have the money to bring the whole family, so it was decided that I would make the journey," says one 16-year-old Syrian boy. Caring for them presents a special challenge to those providing aid. 

Ray of Hope

In the 1940s, suicide was, in psychologist Norman Farberow's words, "a long-neglected, taboo-encrusted social and personal phenomenon." Amid the dark, though, Farberow came to see a flicker of light. Working in L.A., he went on to co-found the first suicide prevention center in the U.S. and help pioneer crisis intervention strategies. After Farberow died Thursday at 97, colleagues and experts tell us how his legacy lives on

Politics, Not as Usual

What tone will the Republican candidates take in Wednesday's debate -- sunny or negative? How do Donald Trump and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former and future hosts of "The Apprentice," stack up? Has Jeb Bush or Hillary Rodham Clinton raised more money? Our Essential Politics newsletter, a free daily email blast, showcases the best from our political teams covering the presidential campaign, California politics and governing in Sacramento. It will be one vibrant hub for everything you want to know about what's happening in politics. 


-- Valley fire victims: A 72-year-old woman dies, and Harbin Hot Springs resort is destroyed

-- Sierra Nevada snowpack hit a 500-year low this year.

-- Meet Los Angeles' newest police commissioner as he reports for duty. 

-- "Let's Go Crazy" suit: A woman whose home video was taken off YouTube wins a court ruling.


-- Mexico demands an inquiry into an attack by Egyptian forces that killed 12 people in a tourist convoy.

-- The airport famed as the site of the Berlin airlift has a new role: refugee camp. 

-- Kentucky clerk Kim Davis allows her office to issue an "unauthorized" marriage license.

-- In Japan, protests intensify as vote nears on "war bills." 

-- Nevada State Museum gets an offer it couldn't refuse: a collection of "mob toys."


-- The value of the Emmy Awards, coming up Sunday, in the TV industry is growing. 

-- Google has shifted its driverless car ambitions into high gear. 

-- Michael Hiltzik: See how PG&E stonewalled regulators after a fatal pipeline disaster.


-- Sneak a peek at the new soccer team in town, coming in 2018: Los Angeles Football Club.  

-- Sam Farmer: In the NFL, first impressions are often the worst impressions.


-- Warning! Warning! "Lost in Space" marks its 50th anniversary.

-- A Vanity Fair photo lauding late-night hosts sparks a Twitter backlash.

-- Brie Larson's intense new movie "Room," based on a bestselling novel, is a film festival hit.    


-- A Princeton professor explains why he put his wife's career first.

-- Where is the birthplace of humankind? National Geographic examines the debate.

-- The New Yorker's Anthony Lane gives his take on the rise of Jeremy Corbyn in Britain.

-- Does Donald Trump cheat at golf? The Washington Post investigates.


They call him Giant Stan. He's traveled to watch the St. Louis Rams practice in Oxnard. One time, he even attended an Inglewood City Council meeting. "He" is a 4-foot-tall foamboard cutout of Rams owner Stan Kroenke's face. And here's how Giant Stan could help bring the football team back to L.A.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.