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The Great McKinney Fire near the California-Oregon border explodes at 55,000 acres


A large blaze called the McKinney Fire broke out near the California-Oregon border and grew to more than 55,000 acres, with 0% containment, authorities said.

TOPSHOT – Flames burn in the Klamath River during the McKinney Wildfire in the Klamath National Forest northwest of Yreka, Calif., on July 31, 2022. – The largest fire in California this year forces thousands of people to evacuate as it destroys homes and tears through the state’s dry terrain, whipped by high winds and thunderstorms. The McKinney Fire was zero percent contained, CalFire said, spanning more than 51,000 acres near the town of Yreka. (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP) (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)

Cal Fire reports that the blaze began Friday, south of the Klamath River, and within 72 hours had burned a large area, entirely in Siskiyou County. Conditions in the mountains have been very dry, due to a severe drought that has now lasted for three years. The spread of the fire was also favored by strong winds.

The Great McKinney Fire near the California-Oregon border explodes at 55,000 acres

Angela Crawford leans against a fence as a wildfire called the McKinney Fire burns a hill above her home in Klamath National Forest, Calif., Saturday, July 30, 2022. Crawford and her husband remained , while other residents evacuated, to defend their home from the fire. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The Great McKinney Fire near the California-Oregon border explodes at 55,000 acres

TOPSHOT – A kitten with burnt whiskers who survived the McKinney Fire hides in the rocks of the Klamath National Forest northwest of Yreka, California on July 31, 2022. (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)

The fire is the largest currently burning in California; other fires near Yosemite National Park received more publicity but were quickly brought under control after strenuous efforts by firefighters.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Sunday:

The McKinney Fire, in a subrange of the Klamath Mountains west of Yreka, traversed 20,000 acres overnight Saturday and had devoured 52,498 acres by Sunday evening, the largest fire currently burning in California , federal and state fire agencies said. Crews had struggled with the 1% containment, but it was down to 0% on Sunday as flames climbed through tall grass, thick brush and dry wood.

Several homes along Highway 96 near the Klamath River were destroyed, though hazardous conditions prevented a full damage assessment, said Courtney Kreider, spokeswoman for the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office. About 400 structures were under threat on Sunday, a number that authorities said could rise. About 3,000 people were under evacuation orders Sunday night, county emergency operations officials said.

The blaze has spread despite local rainfall as thunderstorms bring high winds and lightning that ignite more fires.

The Great McKinney Fire near the California-Oregon border explodes at 55,000 acres

The charred remains of a car towing a trailer that burned when the fire jumped the Klamath River remain on the highway at the McKinney Fire in the Klamath National Forest northwest of Yreka, California, on July 31, 2022. – California’s biggest fire this year is forcing thousands to evacuate as it destroys homes and tears through the state’s dry terrain, whipped by high winds and thunderstorms. The McKinney Fire was zero percent contained, CalFire said, spanning more than 51,000 acres near the town of Yreka. (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP) (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)

Two bodies were found inside a burnt-out vehicle in a residential driveway on Sunday, the Sacramento Bee Remarks. These are the first known fatalities in the McKinney fire.

The Great McKinney Fire near the California-Oregon border explodes at 55,000 acres

A horse grazes in a pasture as the McKinney Wildfire burns in Klamath National Forest, Calif., Saturday, July 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The Great McKinney Fire near the California-Oregon border explodes at 55,000 acres

A horse grazes in a pasture as the McKinney Wildfire burns in Klamath National Forest, Calif., Saturday, July 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The cause of the McKinney fire remains undetermined.

Joel B. Pollak is editor of Breitbart News and host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot Sunday nights from 7-10 p.m. ET (4-7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book Neither Free Nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His latest book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is the winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.



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