Strong thunderstorms that rained down on the McKinney wildfire gave Northern California firefighters some breathing room midweek, but that relief came with concerns that more fires could flare up in the coming days, officials said.
The McKinney Fire grew by 1,210 acres in the past 24 hours and was at 57,519 acres as of midday Wednesday. The east flank of the fire received 3 inches of rain Tuesday, while the west flank received less than half an inch.
“The rain was beneficial, but there’s still a lot of work to be done,” said Charles Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Medford, Oregon. “Even with all the rain, smoke is coming from the center and west edge of the fire.”
Because of the lightning-filled thunderstorms that have hit the area in recent days, Smith said there’s also the possibility of “remnant fires” that won’t show up for several days.
It could take a week for the ground to dry out from the rain and for firefighters to determine how much additional sparks from thunderstorms that hit southern Oregon and northern California could spark what could be the region’s next big wildfire, he said. . Thunderstorms have already ignited several other wildfires in Siskiyou County, forcing fire officials to scramble between the blazes.
“Firefighters are going to be busy for at least the next week because of all the lightning we’ve seen,” Smith said.
The McKinney fire, which broke out Friday afternoon, quickly spread to become the state’s largest and deadliest wildfire of 2022. Authorities say four people have been found dead in the wildfire area, surpassing the death toll for California’s 2021 wildfire season. he saw three dead.
In total, the wildfires in Northern California have forced more than 5,800 people from their homes and threatened to destroy more than 4,500 structures. The Siskiyou County Sherriff’s Office estimates that more than 100 structures have been destroyed by the fire. Residents reported widespread destruction in the Klamath River community, including the destruction of their community center along Highway 96.
Check back for updates.
Rain helps firefighters battling the deadly blaze but significant work remains – Times-Herald Source link Rain helps firefighters battling the deadly blaze but significant work remains – Times-Herald