McKinney Fire: Two Dead, Explodes More Than 52,000 Acres In California

McKinney Fire: Two Dead, Explodes More Than 52,000 Acres In California

Updated on August 02, 2022 14:42 PM by Anthony Christian

Northern California National Forest Fire

Officials said that a fire burning out of control in a Northern California national forest and threatening a town of nearly 8,000 people has quickly become the big wildland fire in the state this year.

According to Cal Fire, The McKinney Fire in the Klamath National Forest in Siskiyou County, near the Oregon border, had burned 52,498 acres as of Sunday evening.

Two persons were found dead in their car in a driveway in the town of Klamath River, Siskiyou County Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue told. Firefighters suspected they caught the two in the fast-moving fire as they tried to flee. More teams were expected to search the area.

The fire started at 2:15 p.m. Friday in the Klamath National Forest and has caused the closure of Highway 98 and the evacuation communities, including the partial evacuation of Yreka, California, officials said.

According to Cal Fire, the blaze is burning through a drought-dry tinderbox of high grass and brush, and numerous dry-lightning strikes and gusty winds have fanned its rapid spread.

Related: The McKinney Fire in Northern California has become the state's largest fire in 3 days

Lightning Storms At Fire Area

Officials said there was concern that lightning storms over the fire area could have sparked additional fires. However, that same storm system also carried a significant amount of moisture, slowing the fire's spread over the past 24 hours.

We feel pretty good about protecting Yreka, whose western fringes were threatened by the fire.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office told on Sunday afternoon that more than 100 structures had been burned, including the homes of several deputies who continue to work despite personally being under evacuation orders.

Many structures are lost along the Klamath River, with runs parallel to Highway, according to a spokesperson for the sheriff's office. Officials said the Klamath River Community Hall was also among the destroyed structures.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office said search crews recovered about 60 hikers from a section of the Pacific Crest Trail, a popular backpacking trail from Canada.

Sgt. Shawn Richards of Jackson County Search & protection told reporters the hikers were not in danger. He said that the rapidly spreading fire, unpredictable winds, and smoke reduced visibility to roughly 20 feet, so they decided to rescue the hikers before conditions worsened.

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Red Flag Fire Danger Warnings

According to the National Weather Service, red flag fire danger warnings are announced in the area Sunday as temperatures are forecast to reach more than 90 to 100 degrees. In addition, there is a more than 30% chance of thunderstorms moving on Sunday afternoon.

Strong breezy outflow winds will continue to be the drivers of the deep fire behavior, Cal Fire said in its recent incident report on the fire.

At least 568 firefighters are battling the wildfire on the ground and air with air tankers and helicopters.

Erratic winds from the start of the circumstance up until now, Kelsey Lofdah, a firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service, told San Francisco station KGO-TV of challenging firefighting conditions. Pretty extreme fire behavior throughout the shift.

The Yreka Police Department confirmed evacuation orders for a neighborhood in the western part of the town due to its concurrence to the fire, about 12 kilometers away.

Evacuation Warning By Police Department

The police department issued evacuation warnings to residents in all areas of the community west of Interstate. The fire's damage is under investigation, and emergency contact management officials are assessing the causes.

Californian Gov. Gavin Newsom reveals a state of emergency on a weekday for Siskiyou County because of the effects of the McKinney Fire. A form of difficulty frees up more state resources to be used in battling the blaze, including an expedition of more firefighters and equipment to the scene.

According to Cal Fire, the McKinney Fire exceeded the Oak Fire in Mariposa County near Yosemite as the biggest wildfire in the state this year. Officials said the Oak Fire started on July 22 and was 64% contained on Sunday after burning more than 19,244 acres and destroying 182 structures, including more than 100 homes.

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