Over 55,000 Acres Burned And 4 Dead In California Wildfire

The McKinney fire currently burning in the northernmost part of California has been named as the largest fire in California this year, with over 55,000 acres burned and more than 100 homes destroyed in the span of 72 hours. The additionally terrifying aspect of this fire is that despite the efforts of at least 650 firefighters, officials have shared that the fire remains 0% contained, meaning that no progress has been made whatsoever to stop the flames from spreading. While a bit of rain helped bring moisture into the air, allowing firefighters to briefly make some headway, lightning and thunderstorms raged on, exacerbating the issue and causing more small fires in different areas.

While the fire-ridden area is primarily unpopulated, taking place near the Oregon border in the Klamath National Forest in Siskiyou County, California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency over the fire for this county, forcing 3,000 residents to evacuate the area. Devastatingly, four fatalities have now been reported as a result of the McKinney fire, with two people found dead inside their car near the Klamath River; officials speculate that the victims were attempting to flee the fire before it tragically caught up with them. Additionally, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office announced the discovery of two additional people who didn’t have time to escape the fires, with “two bodies [found] Monday at separate residences on the perimeter of the blaze along Highway 96.”

Firefighters in the area are doing all they can to prevent the McKinney fire from spreading into the nearby town of Yreka, where about 7,800 people reside. Many have already evacuated for their own safety and peace of mind, but all homes and structures in Yreka are potentially at risk. Similarly to the floods currently happening in Kentucky, as well as the increased temperatures nationwide, climate change is the primary culprit for wildfires. California has been suffering from a drought for about 10 years now, intensifying the risk of wildfires sparking and quickly spreading into other dry forests before devastating nearby communities. All Californians can hope for now is some summer rain that will heavily aid the firefighters and allow them to successfully contain the McKinney fire before it causes more destruction. 

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