High forest fires in Northeast Friesland California claimed two more lives as the death toll rose to four from what has become the state’s largest blaze fueled by blistering heat and bone-dry conditions, authorities said Tuesday.
The Siskiyou County Sheriff said two bodies were found in separate residences on Monday along Route 96, one of the only roads in and out of the area.
On Sunday, first responders found the first two bodies in a burned-out car in a gated driveway of a home near the Klamath River. The flames entered the car before they could escape.
‘It’s really tragic when a fire starts and goes so fast and basically destroys a community. And that’s what happened in the Klamath River area,” Mike Lindbery, a spokesman for the fire’s incident management team, said Tuesday.
The McKinney fire in Northern California has claimed four lives in five days as firefighters battle to contain it
Officers with the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office carry away the remains of one of two people found burned to death in separate residences in the Klamath River area
Officials say the devastating McKinney fire, the largest in the state, is zero percent contained
Authorities have not identified the dead, pending notification of their families.
About 2,500 people have had to evacuate the area and two million more are under red flag warnings of fire conditions in the states of California, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska.
The McKinney Fire, as it is called, ripped through 88 square miles, fed by 50 mph winds, and is considered the largest of the state’s wildfires.
It is by no means the only one. There are 10 different fires burning in the area.
‘Klamath National Forest is a large and beautiful forest, but it also has some steep and rugged terrain. And with that, along with the high temperatures, low humidity, they all come into play and make it a very extreme fire danger situation right now,” Tom Stokesberry of the US Forest Service told me. KTVL.
Roaring inferno threatening wildlife and homes in California has now turned deadly – after four people died
The blaze is now 88km² of dry tinderbox wildland in the area as firefighters work tirelessly to calm the inferno
Flames burn toward the Klamath River at the McKinney Fire in the Klamath National Forest northwest of Yreka, California
The McKinney Fire is burning near Yreka, California, as it destroyed 88 square miles of vegetation, destroyed a dozen homes and forced local residents to evacuate
California Governor Gavin Newsome declared a state of emergency on Monday, freeing up state and federal funds to help those affected by the fire.
Cloudy weather and scattered rain continued to hamper firefighters Tuesday as bulldozers managed to ring the small and scenic tourist destination town of Yreka, with fire breaks. Crews cutting other blazes in steep, rugged terrain also made progress, firefighters said.
James ‘Mac’ Benton was forced to evacuate in his RV from his home in the Klamath River area on Friday.
He got one of his dogs, Moon Bear, in the car, but had to leave one of his dogs — his three-month-old pit bull puppy Patches — behind, along with another dog and his cat, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Early Saturday, as freelance videographer Jonathan Rivas documented the area’s devastation, Patches sheepishly emerged from the smoldering debris, wagging his tail.
He took the dog to Rescue Ranch, a no-kill shelter nearby that took in 165 dogs lost in the fire, where Benton was reunited with the pooch.
‘He’s very resourceful,’ Benton told the Bee. ‘He is a very smart dog.’
Patches, a three-month-old pit bull puppy was rescued by a freelance videographer on Saturday
Early Saturday, as freelance videographer Jonathan Rivas documented the area’s devastation, Patches sheepishly emerged from the smoldering debris, his tail wagging.
He hasn’t heard about his other pets, but he hopes they will survive, according to a Rescue Ranch Facebook post.
The fire took place about 4 kilometers from the center of Yreka, a population of about 7,500.
“There are still many people in the city, people who refused to leave,” he said. ‘Many people who don’t have a car and can’t. It’s really sad.’
Thom has lived in Yreka all his life, but said it was the first time he had been threatened by a wildfire.
‘I never thought it would ever happen,’ he said. ‘I thought: ‘We are invincible.’ … This makes me a liar.’
The fire department says they are doing their best to put out the fire.
“We have the weather,” said Todd Mack, an incident fire commander with the US Forest Service. ‘We have the horse power. And we’ll get after it.’
The charred remains of a boat on a trailer are seen near the McKinney Fire in the Klamath National Forest northwest of Yreka, California
A dead fawn is seen after the McKinney Fire engulfed the area and caused thousands of people to flee their homes
But lightning over the weekend also sparked several smaller fires at the McKinney Fire. And despite the much-needed moisture, forests and fields in the region remained bone dry.
Among those waiting out Monday’s fire at the shelter in Yreka was Paisley Bamberg, 33. She came from West Columbia, South Carolina, a few months ago and had been living in a motel with her six children, ranging from 15 to 15 years old. 1-year-old twins, when she was told to evacuate.
“I started throwing everything on my truck,” but had to leave a lot of things behind, she said.
Bamberg said she had just been hired at an Arby’s restaurant and wondered if it would survive the fire.
‘There may not be much when we return,’ she said. ‘I don’t know if I have a job. The children were supposed to start school and I don’t know if the school is still standing.’
Bamberg added: ‘I’m trying to keep my spirits up. I have six little people who depend on me. I cannot break down or falter.’
Scientists have said that climate change has made the West hotter and drier over the past three decades and will continue to make the weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.
The US Forest Service closed a 110-mile section of the famous Pacific Crest Trail in northern California and southern Oregon. Authorities helped evacuate 60 hikers in that area on Saturday, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon.
Death toll in McKinney Fire rises to four after two people are found dead in their burnt-out homes Source link Death toll in McKinney Fire rises to four after two people are found dead in their burnt-out homes