State Watch

Northern California’s McKinney wildfire grows to 51K acres

A pickup truck and a trailer that burned overnight in the middle of state Highway 96 are seen destroyed by the McKinney Fire in the community of Klamath River, Calif., Saturday, July 30, 2022. (Scott Stoddard/Grants Pass Daily Courier via AP)

The McKinney wildfire has blazed through more than 51,000 acres across northern California, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents and prompting an emergency in one county.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) reported 51,468 acres have been burned with zero percent of the conflagration contained as of Sunday.

The wildfire is spreading in Siskiyou County, the northernmost county in the state hugging Oregon and home to Klamath National Forest, where much of the fire is burning.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) declared an emergency Saturday in Siskiyou County as the McKinney Fire evolved into the largest wildfire in California this year, sending ash into the stratosphere.

Newsom said the McKinney Fire, which began on Friday, was “intensified and spread by dry fuels, extreme drought conditions, high temperatures, winds and lightning storms.”

The wildfire has destroyed homes and forced the evacuation of nearly 2,000 residents.

It also merged with two other fires over the weekend, the China 2 and Evans fires, which prompted the evacuation of an additional 200 residents.

The region remains in a red flag warning on Sunday with the potential that dry lightning and strong winds could exacerbate the inferno, according to the National Park Service.

California is already battling the Oak Fire, which has consumed nearly 20,000 acres of land in Mariposa County and is about 64 percent contained as of Sunday.

Tags California Gavin Newsom Gavin Newsom McKinney wildfire Oak Fire Siskiyou County
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