California Records Its Largest Fire Of

California Records Its Largest Fire Of 2022

CALIFORNIA — Crews battling California’s biggest wildfire of the year were bracing Sunday for thunderstorms, heat and high winds that could fuel the conflagration as they try to protect remote communities.

The McKinney Fire was burning out of control in the Klamath National Forest in northern California, and thunderstorms of great concern were forecast just south of the Oregon border, Forest Service spokeswoman Adrienne Freeman said.

“The flammable material is so dry that it can be ignited by those rays,” Freeman said. “These thunder cells come with erratic wind gusts that can fan the fire in any direction.”


The fire spread to more than 80 square miles just two days after breaking out in a largely uninhabited area of ​​Siskiyou County, according to an incident report on Sunday. The cause is under investigation.

The fire consumed trees along State Highway 96, leaving the charred remains of a pickup truck in one lane of the highway. Dense smoke covered the area and flames burned on hills in front of residences. Sunday’s conflagration left a grayish-orange hue in a neighborhood where a stone chimney stood amid debris and charred vehicles.

A second, smaller fire a short distance to the west, which started Saturday from lightning, was threatening the small community of Seiad, Freeman said.

The two California fires put some 400 structures at risk. Authorities have not yet confirmed the extent of the damage, and have said assessments would begin once it is safe to travel to the area.

A third fire, which was located on the southwestern edge of the McKinney, led to evacuation orders being issued for about 500 homes on Sunday, said Courtney Kreider, a spokeswoman for the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department. The office said crews had been on the fire scene since Saturday night, but the fire “became active and escaped containment lines” on Sunday morning.

Several people from the police department were affected by the evacuation orders due to the fires “and they continue to report to work, so we have a very dedicated staff,” he added. The fire on Friday destroyed the house in which one of the officers grew up, Kreider added.

As the McKinney Fire approached, some residents decided to stay indoors while others heeded orders to evacuate.

Larry Castle and his wife, Nancy, were among about 2,000 residents affected by evacuation orders in the Yreka area. They left the area Saturday with some of their prized possessions, including Larry’s motorcycle, and took their dogs to stay with his daughter near Mount Shasta.

Larry Castle said he wouldn’t take any chances after seeing the explosive growth of large fires in recent years.

“You see what happened with the Paradise fire and the Santa Rosa fire and you realize this is a very, very serious thing,” he told the Sacramento Bee.

In northwestern Montana, a grass fire near the town of Elmo had spread to about 17 square miles after moving into the forest. At the scene, crews are working on the edges of the fire, while aircraft are expected to continue dumping water and retardant to help slow the spread of the flames, said Sara Rouse, spokeswoman for the interdepartmental team assigned to fight the fire. High temperatures and erratic winds are forecast, she added.

In addition, a section of Highway 28 between Hot Springs and Elmo that had been closed was reopened, with authorities asking drivers to be on the lookout for fire and emergency personnel due to poor visibility conditions, Rouse said. .

In Idaho, the Moose Fire in the Salmon-Challis National Forest has burned more than 75 square miles near the town of Salmon. It had been 21% contained by Sunday morning.



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