On Tuesday, authorities confirmed that two more people had died in the enormous wildfire that has ravaged a Northern California national forest for several days.
On Monday, search crews discovered two deaths at two separate properties along Highway 96, which borders the McKinney Fire in the Klamath National Forest, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
According to the Klamath River sheriff’s office, two persons were found dead in their automobile over the weekend in a driveway in Klamath River. When they died, officials believe they were trying to escape the blaze.
The search for victims of the horrific conflagration resumed on Tuesday as firefighters went house to home.
Meanwhile, the Klamath National Forest in Northern California’s drought-stricken region is battling a second, smaller fire, officials said. 60 miles away, the China2 Fire is raging in the town of Happy Camp.
Search teams located two additional deceased individuals in the #McKinneyFire perimeter Monday. Both individuals were located at separate residences along SR 96. This brings the confirmed fatality number to 4. **No additional info pending identification & family notifications** pic.twitter.com/RoSl9I7j3F
— Siskiyou County Sheriff (@SiskiyouSheriff) August 2, 2022
In Siskiyou County, both of the blazes are now uncontained. An overnight 700-acre increase in the McKinney fire, which is located near the town of Yreka, put the blaze at 56,165 acres.
Firefighters are reporting that the China2 Fire was started on Friday, the same day as the larger McKinney Fire and that it has been burning at a slower pace than the main blaze, which has been burning at an even faster speed. From a little over 300 acres on Saturday, the China2 Fire had spread to about 2,000 acres by Tuesday.
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According to Klamath National Forest spokesperson, Joel Brumm, firefighters from the McKinney Fire will be transferred to the China2 Fire on Tuesday.
According to Brumm, “They’re attempting to keep the fire from crossing the highway at any time.” Since the commencement of both fires, the nearby stretch of Highway 96 has been shut down.
According to Brumm, a lightning strike began the China2 Fire, which has since been combined with a minor conflagration known as the Evans Fire. The Alex Fire, which is raging near the China2 Fire, has scorched around 140 acres of land.
Brumm reported that the China2 Fire did not receive any rain, despite the fact that the McKinney Fire received some overnight and early Tuesday morning.
That night, despite the lack of precipitation, he claimed, residents could observe “aggressive burning” and “active flames.”
As a result of the possibility of thunderstorms, strong winds, and lightning, Brumm has issued Red Flag fire hazard warnings for Tuesday in the vicinity of the McKinney Fire.
In spite of the thunderstorms, “you can get these gusts up to 40 and 50 mph, which may snag an ember, bring it back to life, and really drive this fire to move quickly,” he explained.
This year’s greatest wildfire in California, the McKinney Fire, has surpassed the Oak Fire near Yosemite as the state’s largest wildfire, according to Cal Fire. Officials said the Oak Fire, which erupted on July 22 and has now consumed 19,244 acres and destroyed 182 structures, including more than 100 residences, is 76 percent contained.
The McKinney Fire’s proximity to Yreka has resulted in the evacuation of about 3,000 people, some of whom live on the town’s west side.
According to a Cal Fire incident report made public on Tuesday, “Crews were able to work successfully behind the city of Yreka, bringing dozer line up the ridge to protect the structures.”
In the Klamath River settlement, located about 33 miles west of Yreka, several homes and other structures were damaged or destroyed by the McKinney Fire.
ABC News quotes Klamath River Volunteer Fire Chief Janet Jones as saying, “It’s horrible.” “It’s difficult for us to compete with the resources of bigger cities. In the end, the people will be unable to return to their homes.”